On May 4, the Alliance for Health Reform held a briefing on the role of primary care in addressing the growing need for behavioral health services. At the hearing, speakers representing federal agencies, health care organizations and advocacy groups outlined the state of the nation’s behavioral health care services and the challenges payers and providers can expect in the near future.
The upcoming Medicaid expansion will make care more accessible for millions of Americans with behavioral health conditions, but will accordingly increase demand on hospitals, community health centers, and providers who are already stretched thin and underfunded. Due to the high rates of co-morbidity between chronic disease and mental illness and the prevalence of both in lower-income patient populations, many of these newly covered patients will present complex cases and will require treatment from both primary care and behavioral health providers. Poor care coordination and a lack of preventive care options decrease the quality of care that individuals in need of behavioral health services receive and often lead them to present repeatedly in high-cost care settings like hospital emergency departments.
Improved outcomes, $24M net savings delivered via Missouri behavioral health integration
The 2012 Congress on Women’s Health was held on March 16-18 in Washington, D.C., bringing together physician and nursing leaders from across the country to discuss various topics in women’s health. As providers are seeing more complicated cases in their patients, sessions on cancer screening, chronic disease, and gynecologic care emphasized a greater focus on “whole person” care.
Report from the 2012 Women's Health Congress: Caring for the 'whole woman'