What do you look for when you shop for quality products or services? Is it affordability, or are you comfortable with paying a premium price? Irrespective of the kind of shopper you are, getting the maximum bang out of one’s buck is the crux of all shopping. ‘Value’ is the key sentiment and the customer is king, isn’t it?
The healthcare sector presents the most contextual example of this value--product/ service--customer centricity. Illness – whether physical or behavioral, or a combination of both – is a debilitating condition for whole person well-being and treatment-related financial health. Patient-centric, high-quality, efficient, reasonably priced caregiving through the Value-Based Care (VBC) approach not only puts the emphasis on patients’ holistic health, but also reduces the total cost of care by ~25%.
Integrating behavioral health (BH) services into primary care practices also adds value to caregiving. While several practices today are screening patients for BH disorders, some have taken a step ahead to include BH consultants in their staff, and embraced integrated care models like Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) to enable whole person care for patients.
What’s BHI Got to Do With VBC?
In one of our previous blogs, we’ve presented a detailed view of BHI – a collaborative approach that combines mental health services with primary care – and how it’s emerging as a promising solution to address the increasing burden of mental health disorders. In this blog, as an extrapolation, our endeavor is to spotlight the role BHI plays in VBC.
Did you know that the Bipartisan Policy Center, one of the world’s leading think tanks, had estimated nearly two years back that integrating BH services into primary care could save the U.S. healthcare system $4.7 billion over 10 years? Talk about being a visionary! Cut to today, and studies estimate that integrating behavioral and medical services for patients with BH conditions can create $38 to 68 billion in healthcare savings per annum.
As you know, reducing costs is the central theme of VBC. However, an equally important aspect is proactively preventing patients from falling ill (instead of them getting sick in the absence of timely treatment, and then administering costly interventions) – an attribute BHI shares with VBC.
Does Integrating BH and Primary Care Improve VBC Effectiveness?
Fact 1 – As high as 75% of primary care visits include BH disorders.
Fact 2 – VBC today accounts for more than 40% of currently-in-use alternative payment models.
Combine these two, and the inference is clear – Providing BHI, whether as an in-person or remote service, increases the efficacy of VBC in the following ways –
- Improvement in symptom-led diagnosis – By integrating BH assessments into routine medical check-ups, providers can identify signs of distress in their early stages; even in patients who may not actively seek BH care. Leveraging the VBC approach for caregiving ensures prioritized patient well-being and quality of care.
- Improvement in treatment plan and adherence – BHI, in combination with VBC, ensures patients with comorbid psychological disorders demonstrate better self-care, higher treatment adherence rates, and keep away from indulging in substance abuse.
- Improvement in patient engagement | Better RAF score – When patients benefit from better and timely access to care and are provided with ongoing support for their physical-mental issues, their satisfaction levels increase as do payments. BHI as a care management service helps improve Risk Adjustment Factor (RAF) scores by –
- Reducing undiagnosed patient count
- Expanding access to the right care at the right time
- Increasing treatment adherence
- Resolving complex health disorders at lower costs
- Improving patients’ quality of life
- Decrease in healthcare services utilization | Lower overall care costs – Patients with more severe diseases are often more expensive to treat. However, BHI has been shown to decrease healthcare services utilization (eg: lower emergency and hospital admission/ readmission rates). As previously stated, the BHI-VBC combination can create a whopping $38 to 68 billion in healthcare savings on a year-on-year basis!
Urban Health – For the Right Action at the Right Time
Urban Health is a pathbreaking evidence- and measurement-based, AI-guided, patient group-agnostic BH care coordination platform for primary care clinics that identifies undiagnosed BH disorders, reduces services utilization costs, maximizes patient engagement, and boosts care delivery success.
While most care management programs leave ~95% of their potential impact unaddressed, Urban Health eliminates the points of failure in these programs by augmenting their ability to identify, reach out to, and engage patients.
The HIPAA-compliant solution helps users (patients) adhere to their medication regimens and remember their appointments by sending automated timely notifications. It also assists physicians with understanding whether patients are sticking to the recommended treatment, and to what extent.
To learn more about how you can radically transform the cost-effective delivery of integrated mental healthcare at scale by partnering with Urban Health, click here.