Finance Policy Division

The Finance Policy Division (FPD) focuses on how funding policies and practices can support and sustain effective mental health service delivery systems. To accomplish its mission, FPD facilitates mutual learning and cooperation among state mental health authorities  (SMHAs)* to advance behavioral health financing policy and practice; identifies and tracks emerging behavioral health financing issues and areas of interest to help shape NASMHPD activities and priorities; provides feedback to funding sources, such as CMS, on policy development; forges working relationships with stakeholders such as the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS);  and provides or obtains expert advice or technical assistance for NASMHPD divisions and members.

One major focus of FPD is Medicaid, which is now the single largest payer for mental health services in the United States.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plays a crucial role in providing financial support to state mental health authorities for mental health and substance abuse services through:

  • Medicaid state plan options which enable rehabilitative services, case management, inpatient care, substance use treatment and home and community-based services for adults and/or children with mental illness; 
  • Medicaid waivers, which enable greater flexibility in services and systems of care than allowed under traditional Medicaid and/or enable states to demonstrate better ways to provide Medicaid-funded services; and
  • Medicaid and Medicare competitive financing opportunities which enable states and others to demonstrate systemic improvements. 

FPD also explores leveraging other funding resources such as Block Grant and demonstration funding available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  

Since many of the issues addressed by the Finance Policy Division are of direct significance to the day-to-day operations of SMHAs, the Division maintains a close working relationship with agency directors and commissioners through its Commissioner Division Advisor and facilitates networking regarding issues that cut across NASMHPD's other divisions.

Finance Policy Division Mission Statement

Support SMHAs in developing sustainable models and strategies to finance effective mental health practices and systems. 

Share knowledge of finance issues and opportunities between the Division and NASMHPD to inform NASMHPD’s advocacy on behalf of SMHAs. 


SMHAs are diverse and dynamic centers of innovation and knowledge for mental health services and supports. There are common themes but differing administrative and policy environments in which SMHAs operate, which must be respected. 

State mental health systems need sufficient, reliable and flexible funding to promote innovation and support evidence-based, recovery-oriented, culturally aware and trauma sensitive systems.

SMHAs need accurate, nonpartisan and timely information on analysis of funding issues, opportunities and strategies to effectively finance and administer mental health systems.

SMHAs benefit from communicating, collaborating, innovating and learning from each other, NASMHPD staff and external funding partners (CMS, SAMHSA, etc.). Partnership can promote better financing practice and policy.

Functions of the Division

Collaborate – promote mutual learning and cooperation among SMHAs and other NASMHPD divisions, as well as with other organizations, such as NAMD, to advance mental health financing policy and practice.

Coordinate – share progress, obtain direction from MH Commissioners via the Division’s Commissioner Advisor.

Define – issues and areas of interest related to financing mental health services to inform NASMHPD activities and priorities.

Analyze – track emerging mental health financing policy and impact on SMHAs to provide feedback and guidance on financing issues, practice and policy.

Communicate - through creation of collaborative documents which express shared vision, issues and/or recommendations (e.g., position papers, policy briefs, etc.) and other means. 

Convene – regular and/or ad hoc telephonic meetings with Division, NASMHPD staff and others. Organize annual to biennial face-to-face Division meetings. Meetings define areas of interest, priorities, and share knowledge. 

Assist – provide or obtain technical assistance and advice for member SMHAs or other NASMHPD Divisions regarding policy and operational issues related to financing. 



Executive Committee

Chairperson Dena StonerTX
Vice Chairperson Wendy White TiegreenGA
Secretary Alisa RandallAZ



Dena Stoner (TX)

NASMHPD Commissioner Division Advisor:

Drew Adkins (KS)

NASMHPD Division Administrators:

Tim Tunner, M.S.W., Ph.D.
Senior Training and Technical Assistance Advisor, NASMHPD
Fax: 703-548-9517

 *SMHAs = lead agencies for mental health policy and financing in the 50 states and  territories