Crisis Services for Behavioral Health Emergencies: Effectiveness, Cost-Effectiveness, and Funding Strategies

Crisis services for behavioral health emergencies have the potential for significant cost savings by reducing inpatient hospitalization and emergency department utilization and encouraging more appropriate use of community-based behavioral health services. Traditionally, individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis have been initially treated in a general hospital emergency department or admitted to a hospital and then receive limited outpatient treatment. This approach has been neither cost effective nor consistent with clinical best practice. As a result, several states have developed a continuum of crisis intervention services to provide less expensive, community based alternatives. The research base on the effectiveness of crisis services is growing and states now have experience using different payment mechanisms to support a comprehensive crisis system.

This webinar will provide an overview of the evidence base on clinical and cost effectiveness of different types of crisis services, as detailed in a new report from Truven Health Analytics and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). State officials from Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin will then share strategies used to coordinate, consolidate, and braid funding services in order to provide a full continuum of services to individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis.


  • Joyce Allen, Director of the Bureau of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery, Wisconsin Department of Health Services
  • Jane Beyer, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Disability Services, Behavioral Health and Service Integration Administration, Washington
  • Suzanne Fields, Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Health Financing, SAMHSA
  • Neva Kaye, Managing Director for Health System Performance, National Academy for State Health Policy
  • Julie Seibert, Research Leader, Truven Health Analytics
  • Mary Shelton, Director of Behavioral Health Operations, Bureau of TennCare

Support for this webinar was provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through a contract with Truven Health Analytics. 

Click to Download Webinar Transcript 230 KB

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