Select Page

Welcome to the Behavioral Health Data Sharing Toolkit!


California has embraced the integration of physical health, mental health and substance use treatment.  For the most part, the leadership of the state health agencies, substance use and mental health provider communities, health care and many others have been working for over a decade to better coordinate and integrate care across systems treating those individuals with both physical health and behavioral health problems.  Philanthropy in CA has also embraced the integration movement.  Many foundations are now supporting these initiatives and pilots as well as supporting behavioral health and substance use and addiction work that aligns with their own mission and vision.

California Context

Today, California is engaged in a number of initiatives and pilots that have integration of physical and behavioral health care as a focus of that work.  As of this writing, some of those that focus on the integration of behavioral health include the following:

Whole Person Care Pilots

The Whole Person Care (WPC) regional pilots focus on the coordination of health, behavioral health, and social services, as applicable, in a patient-centered manner with the goals of improved beneficiary health and well-being through more efficient and effective use of resources.

The California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI)

California philanthropy is also supporting innovative work in this area. CACHI was established by The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and Sierra Health Foundation, to advance innovative health models focused on improving population health and reduce health disparities. Community Partners is managing the grantmaking and serves as the administrative home to the initiative. Six local communities from across the state will receive up to $5.1 million in total funding to improve the health of Californians. Each Accountable Communities for Health (ACH) will be awarded up to $850,000 over three years to advance common health goals and create a vision for a more expansive, connected, prevention-oriented health system. Each ACH is a partnership between health systems, health care providers, health plans, public health departments, key community and social services organizations, schools, and other entities serving a particular geographic area. An ACH takes responsibility for improving the health of the community, with explicit attention to achieving greater health equity among its residents. For more information on the CACHI initiative and to learn which communities in CA are participating click here.


The Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS) will demonstrate how organized substance use disorder care increases the success of DMC beneficiaries while decreasing other system health care costs. Critical elements of the DMC-ODS Pilot include providing a continuum of care modeled after the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Criteria for substance use disorder treatment services.

Health Home State Plan Option Pilots

The Medicaid Health Home State Plan Option, authorized under ACA Section 2703 (Section 2703), allows states to create Medicaid health homes to provide supplemental services that coordinate the full range of physical health, behavioral health, and community-based long term services and supports needed by beneficiaries with chronic conditions. California Assembly Bill 361 (AB 361), enacted in 2013, authorized California to submit a Section 2703 application.

For a full description of these and other innovative CA pilot projects underway within DHCS, please visit their Section 1115 Medicaid Waiver Resources page or the specific pages below.

Of course the landscape continues to evolve and change, so it’s important to check back frequently to these links to see other updates and new initiatives as they emerge.

California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII)

Behavioral health data sharing has been a keen interest of the California Healthcare Foundation and they recently supported the production of a very useful resource guide on data sharing in CA. The California Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII), with support from the California Healthcare Foundation, has created the State Health Information Guidance (SHIG).  The SHIG is a non-binding but authoritative guidance from the State of California for non-state entities, that clarifies federal and state laws about when, how and why mental health and substance abuse patient information can be exchanged between behavioral health providers and other providers involved in coordinating patient care. The SHIG clarifies patient protection law by saying this is how the state sees it, this is what you can do with it, who can share it, who can obtain it and for what purpose. The SHIG is written in lay language for a general audience utilizing role based scenarios, general guidance and legal citations. The target audiences are Physicians, Nurses, Hospital Administrators, CEOs, CIOs, CMIOs, CSOs, attorneys, social workers, care coordinators and case managers.The SHIG is available for download here.

Explore the Behavioral Health Data Sharing Toolkit!