To improve access to and quality of affordable behavioral healthcare, there is a need for more research to identify which interventions can generate long-term, societal return-on-investment (ROI). Barriers to ROI studies in the behavioral health sector were explored by conducting semi-structured interviews with individuals from key stakeholder groups at state and national behavioral health-related organizations. Limited operating budgets, state-based payer systems, the lack of financial support, privacy laws, and other unique experiences of behavioral health providers and patients were identified as important factors that affect the collection and utilization of data. To comprehensively assess ROI of interventions, it is necessary to improve standardization and data infrastructure across multiple health and non-health systems and clarify or address legal, regulatory, and commercial conflicts.
The full study is available in The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research.