Integrating State Administrative Records To Manage Substance Abuse Treatment System Performance

AIR, in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), worked with representatives of various state's substance abuse treatment agencies to discuss the use and practice of integrating information agencies obtain on individuals they serve or encounter (i.e., records on client treatment, services delivery, and payment) with data collected by other state agencies as a part of their routine services delivery or operations (e.g., Department of Corrections incarceration records, Department of Health mortality records). Technical guidance for the practice of linking administrative records was developed, along with recommendations for use. This guidance document, published as a DHHS Technical Assistance Publication (TAP), was developed with input from a technical advisory group of state/federal representatives and field researchers, and describes the utility and practice of integrating the information available in state agency data sets with information on clients of alcohol and other drug abuse (AOD) services. Implications for performance-based management are discussed.

Managing Researcher