Estimating the need for behavioral health workers

As the Affordable Care Act moves forward, many federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are expanding capacity to meet the healthcare needs of America’s most medically underserved populations. An article published recently by BMC Health Services Research examines this issue from a behavioral health perspective. In particular, it focuses on the importance of developing a needs-based method for estimating the behavioral health staffing requirements of FQHCs.

The researchers developed a methodology by using health center staffing data and behavioral health service patterns from the 2010 Uniform Data System and the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. From this information they estimated the number of patients likely to need behavioral healthcare by insurance type, the number of visits likely needed by health center patients annually, and the number of full time equivalent providers needed to serve them.

A copy of the report can be found here.


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