SAMHSA's National Outcome Measures:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is pleased to make this
fourth annual report to the Nation on the partnership among SAMHSA, the
States, and SAMHSA grantees to implement the National Outcome Measures (NOMs) for
prevention and treatment of substance use and/or mental disorders. The NOMs have been
defined to embody meaningful, real life outcomes for people who are striving to attain
and sustain recovery; build resilience; and work, learn, live, and participate fully
in their communities.
During the past year, SAMHSA, with input from external partners, has written a comprehensive
multi-year data strategy. It is available at
One of the three goals that are defined in this strategy is devoted to the on-going
development, implementation, refinement, and use of SAMHSA NOMs and rigorous evaluations.
Achievement of the objectives described under this goal is a top priority because
SAMHSA recognizes that all levels of government—Federal, State, and
local—as well as health services providers and consumers need reliable and timely
data to inform decision-making.
SAMHSA currently has the following activities underway to achieve the objectives
of the Performance Data Goal of the Strategy:
A detailed report on SAMHSA's accomplishments is available at http://nationaloutcomemeasures.samhsa.gov/accomplishments.asp.
- Continue to design, evaluate, and recommend candidate NOMs for domains currently
listed as under development.
- Establish performance measures for major and significant programs based on NOMs.
- Continue to develop an implementation plan to support NOMs data reporting for States
and SAMHSA's significant and major programs.
- Convene an internal work group for Territory NOMs reporting.
- Work toward full implementation of Transformation Accountability (TRAC) and the
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Service Accountability and Monitoring System
(CSAMS) and examine ways to promote greater consistency across TRAC, CSAMS, and
the Services Accountability Improvement System (SAIS).
- Initiate a pilot project to support State implementation of augmented client-level
data collection systems for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.
- Continue developing standard TRAC, CSAMS, and SAIS management reports to assist
grantee management and monitoring and inquiry responses.
- Develop benchmarking strategies to determine acceptable levels of outcome.
- Continue to develop an effective strategy to publicly release performance data disaggregated
by grantee (per the Office of Management and Budget [OMB] Program Assessment Rating
Tool [PART] requirement).
- Convene an internal work group to develop an appropriate set of agency standards
and procedures for management assessment and program evaluation.
Looking forward from FY 2009 through FY 2011, SAMHSA will initiate the next set
- Standardized methods and definitions for all NOMs
for block grant and discretionary grant recipients
SAMHSA plans to continue to review the NOMs definitions and ensure that an appropriate
balance is struck between the unique data collection needs of different programs/populations
and the goals of streamlined and standardized data collection methods and definitions.
- Complete definition of developmental NOMs for both
mental health and substance abuse programs
SAMHSA will continue to use a consensus process to produce recommendations for these
- Reporting on all NOMs by all States for both block
SAMHSA is using the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) to collect treatment NOMs
for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, the National Survey
on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to collect substance abuse prevention NOMs, and the
Uniform Reporting System (URS) to collect NOMs for the Community Mental Health Services
Block Grant. SAMHSA plans to continue to help States develop the technical capacity
to report all the NOMs for mental health services and substance abuse prevention
- Client-level data for mental health NOMs
SAMHSA plans to develop client-level NOMs to augment the information already obtained
through the aggregate State data. Pilots will be conducted to test an appropriate
methodology for this purpose, followed by full implementation of the measures of
the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant.
- Fully implement NOMs reporting systems (CSAM, TRAC,
and SAIS) for all discretionary grants
SAMHSA plans to implement standards and systems for collecting NOMs-based measures
for its discretionary grant programs. SAMHSA also plans to work to develop data
collection requirements that complement the NOMs for discretionary programs that
do not provide client-level services (e.g., infrastructure and technical assistance
programs) or for which NOMs are not well-suited (such as the Protection and Advocacy
for Individuals with Mental Illness [PAIMI]).
- Share program performance data across SAMHSA and
with its external partners, including providing regular feedback reports to grantees
and States on their performance along with identifying areas of improvement and
identifying high performers who can provide technical assistance or mentoring to
those who need assistance in improvements
SAMHSA plans to work in consultation with the field to develop a process that balances
OMB's expectations regarding the public availability of grantee data with grantee
concerns about the misinterpretation (and potential misuse) of such data.
- Generate standard and special performance management
reports for significant and major programs
SAMHSA plans to generate these reports, which will include analyses of services
to vulnerable populations including children, older adults, and cultural and linguistic
- Agency standards and processes for management assessment
and program evaluation
SAMHSA is confident that accomplishment of these activities will make a major contribution
toward ensuring that all stakeholders are armed with the information needed to make
decisions that are data-based and data-driven. This ultimately includes empowering
people with or at risk for mental and substance abuse disorders with information
needed to improve their care, build resilience, and facilitate recovery.
SAMHSA plans to develop standards and procedures to ensure future management assessment
and program evaluations are rigorous enough to provide evidence of program effectiveness.
Go to SAMHSAs performance management message for 2007 (2007 HTML overview or 2007 PDF overview).
Go to SAMHSAs performance management message for 2006 (2006 HTML overview or 2006 PDF overview).
Go to SAMHSAs performance management message for 2005 (2005 HTML overview or 2005 PDF overview).
Go to SAMHSAs report on performance partnerships (HTML report or PDF report).