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Assessing public behavioral health services data: a mixed method analysis

Vaughn, Sierra X.; Maxey, Hannah L.; Keen, Alyson; Thoele, Kelli; Newhouse, Robin

Año: 2020

Background Measuring behavioral health treatment accessibility requires timely, comprehensive and accurate data collection. Existing public sources of data have inconsistent metrics, delayed times to publication and do not measure all factors related to accessibility. This study seeks to capture this additional information and determine its importance for informing accessibility and care coordination. Methods The 2018 National Survey for Substance Abuse and Treatment Services (N-SSATS) data were used to identify behavioral health facilities in Indiana and gather baseline information. A telephone survey was administered to facilities with questions parallel to the N-SSATS and additional questions regarding capacity and patient intake. Quantitative analysis includes chi-square tests. A standard qualitative analysis was used for theming answers to open-ended questions. Results About 20% of behavioral health facilities responded to the study survey, and non-response bias was identified by geographic region. Among respondents, statistically significant differences were found in several questions asked in both the study survey and N-SSATS. Data gathered from the additional questions revealed many facilities to have wait times to intake longer than 2 weeks, inconsistency in intake assessment tools used, limited capacity for walk-ins and numerous requirements for engaging in treatment. Conclusion Despite the low response rate to this study survey, results demonstrate that multiple factors not currently captured in public data sources can influence coordination of care. The questions included in this study survey could serve as a framework for routinely gathering these data and can facilitate efforts for successful coordination of care and clinical decision-making.

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Palabras clave:

Centros de tratamiento para el abuso de substancias; Accesibilidad a los servicios sanitarios; Información pública sobre datos sanitarios


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