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National Council Joins RWJF Initiative to Spur Innovation in Value-Based Payment and Care

January 18, 2018

Joy Burwell
(202) 748-8789

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Community behavioral health organizations and community health centers, which serve a combined total of more than 37 million people, face increasing pressure to move to care models that reward value over volume. Unfortunately, they lack resources to build the necessary infrastructure to navigate the evolving payment environment.

To mitigate this problem, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded $2.9 million to the National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) and the National Association of Community Health Centers to support the Delta Center for a Thriving Safety Net (Delta Center). Operated by John Snow, Inc., the Center for Care Innovations and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, this national collaborative will provide technical assistance with the goal of building capacity within behavioral health state associations and primary care associations to promote the diffusion of value-based payment arrangements within their memberships. The National Council will work with the Delta Center to guide the selection of the behavioral health state associations and primary care associations through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

“The National Council is pleased to bring our mental illness and substance use disorder expertise to the Delta Center. We understand the importance of supporting community behavioral health organizations as they transform care delivery and engage in value-based payment. Strengthening the safety-net allows people to get the treatment they so desperately need. Our strong relationships with behavioral health organizations and experience providing technical assistance to them will help the Delta Center achieve its goals,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health.

The Delta Center is the first national center to focus exclusively on transforming payment and care for ambulatory behavioral health and primary care services. The Delta Center will: 1) build capacity within existing state associations to support their members and local partners, fostering broad and sustained reach; 2) synthesize and disseminate lessons from local, state and national experiences to inform policy and practice at all levels; and 3) advance creative collaboration between primary care and behavioral health. This multi-pronged approach will build the knowledge, resources and relationships of state and national organizations to shape and respond to policy change and opportunities in the safety-net.

“With these national partners at the table, the Delta Center is poised to strengthen the safety-net on a large and sustainable scale and will include both rural and urban perspectives. Transforming providers’ ability to engage in value-based payment is critical for the long-term health of the safety-net,” said Andrea Ducas, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program officer.

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The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 2,900 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 1 million Americans have been trained. For more information, please visit


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