Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness
The Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW), formerly the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association (AMBHA), is an association of the nation’s leading behavioral health and wellness companies. These companies provide an array of services related to mental health, substance use, employee assistance, disease management, and other health and wellness programs to over 110 million people in both the public and private sectors.
The original organization, AMBHA, was founded in 1994 to enable the leading managed behavioral healthcare organizations in this industry to work together on key issues of public accountability, quality, public policy and communication.
Over the past several years the role of companies that provide managed behavioral health care has evolved and changed. There has been increasing attention paid to the overall health and wellbeing of the people that are served and recognition that in order to improve all healthcare quality mental health and substance use services must also be included. Additionally, the role of behavior in health improvement and the management of chronic conditions have also been fostered.
This trend has resulted in an increased focus on the coordination of care, evidence based practice, quality measurement and improvement, and the development and offering of wellness programs that foster healthy behavior. In addition, special programs related to the management and treatment of a variety of health concerns including: obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma have been developed.
Based upon this expanding role of behavioral health programs, the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association (AMBHA) began a re-examination of its scope of programs and activities. As a result the association developed a new mission, vision, and name to reflect the changes taking place among its members and the industry as whole. After several meetings and telephone calls the AMBHA Board voted in October of 2006 to approve the name change to the “Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW); advancing benefits and services in mental health, substance use and behavior change”.
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