The Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program (MHSIP) Consumer Surveys measure concerns that are important to consumers of publicly funded mental health services in the areas of Access, Quality/Appropriateness, Outcomes, Overall Satisfaction and Participation in Treatment Planning.
The Washington Institute administers the Adult Consumer Survey (ACS) and the Child/Family Consumer Survey (CFCS) to examine the quality of Washington State’s publically funded mental health services and to meet the reporting requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Washington Institute has conducted these surveys since 2001.
The MHSIP Consumer Surveys target a random, stratified, probability proportionate to size sample of consumers from across Washington State. The Washington Institute manages a ten-station Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) system, and the primary data collection for the Consumer Surveys is conducted via telephone, between February and May. Twenty-five temporary, part-time employees comprise the interview team. Many Washington Institute Interviewers are current or past consumers of publicly funded mental health services.
In addition to standard demographic questions that collect information on employment and marital status, living situation, arrest history, age, race, gender, and access to health insurance and care, the survey includes 36 items recommended, in part, by MHSIP, that inquire about the respondent’s perceptions of: general satisfaction with services, voice in service delivery, satisfaction with staff, perception of outcome of services, access to services, and staff cultural sensitivity. Since 2007, items from the Mental Health National Outcome Measures (NOMS) have been included, assessing criminal justice issues, social connectedness, and functioning. Also since 2007, items from the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness (ISMI) were added to assess respondents’ perceived, mental illness based discrimination.
The Washington Institute analyzes MHSIP survey data for sample representativeness, and combines items from the survey instruments to form constructs that measure the primary indicators of interest: general satisfaction with services, voice in service delivery, satisfaction with staff, perception of outcome of services, access to services, social connectedness, functioning, and stigma. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery receives ACS and CFCS reports comparing these constructs across Washington State’s Regional Service Networks (RSNs) and by demographic variables.
Accurate measures of consumer perceptions of the quality of publicly funded mental health services in Washington State provide DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery with a tool for assessing consumer satisfaction, identifying demographic disparities and barriers to access, and facilitating publicly funded mental health service improvement.