3 Models for Integration of Behavioral Health Care

Healthcare Financial Management Magazine March 2016

Kevin J. Ryan, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Chicago office, authored an article in Healthcare Financial Management Magazine titled “3 Models for Integration of Behavioral Health Care.”

Following is an excerpt:

In this era of health reform, many leading health systems are realizing that behavioral healthcare providers can play a significant role in integrated health care. These organizations understand that integrated health care involves addressing all patient needs, including those that go beyond purely medical concerns. Bringing on behavioral healthcare professionals—including licensed professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, professional clinical counselors, and clinical nurse specialists—can help address these needs.

Third-party payers and health systems have long known that a majority of healthcare costs are incurred by a relatively small percentage of patients—predominantly those with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and arthritis. These payers also know that integrating behavioral health care into treatment plans can have a dramatic impact on the utilization of healthcare resources, compliance with treatment, and quality of care, which are key concerns in the value-focused world of health care that is emerging largely as a result of the Affordable Care Act.