March 14, 2018

Intermountain launches new company that aims to transform mental health care

Daily Briefing

    To better integrate mental and primary health care, Intermountain Healthcare has launched Alluceo, a new, independent company that will leverage a digital communication platform to deliver team-based mental health care services.

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    How it works

    According to Intermountain, the new company's services and technologies are based on Intermountain's Mental Health Integration (MHI) program. The MHI program, designed by Intermountain's primary care providers, integrates mental and behavioral health care into primary care and relies on a team-based care model that engages the patient, family members, care managers, and primary and mental health care providers.

    According to Health Data Management, a 2016 JAMA study on the MHI program found that when compared with traditional practice management, the team-based approach was linked to a higher rate of active depression screening, at 46.1% (compared with 24.1%), and improved care management, with primary care physician visits declining 7% as patients increasingly received focused care. In addition, MHI was linked to a:

    • 23% reduction in ED visits;
    • 10.6% reduction in hospital admissions;
    • 7% reduction in primary care physician encounters; and
    • 3.3% reduction in cost of care to communities.

    The company's digital platform will enable a patient's care team to communicate remotely regarding a patient's care, according to Intermountain. Such communication aims to help close gaps between mental and primary health care services while easing potential financial burdens on patients, Health Data Management reports.

    Intermountain said the platform "makes the science of mental health integration accessible and powers team-based care protocols," adding, "Applying technology in this way opens new possibilities for mental and behavioral health care delivery as well as prevention and management of chronic conditions."

    Comments

    In a release, Intermountain CEO Marc Harrison said Alluceo's "platform and services are truly people-centered, designed, and proven to effectively address the needs of all those impacted by mental health concerns, and at the same time reduce the financial burden to patients." He added, "I am excited to see the value and change Alluceo will bring to the disciplines of mental and behavioral health and primary care."

    Brenda Reiss-Brennan, the mental health integration director at Intermountain, added that the new company "will enable other health systems, payers, providers, patients, and families to experience the same impactful results and, in the process, elevate the health of entire communities" (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/12; Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 3/12; Byers, Healthcare DIVE, 3/13; Intermountain release, 3/1).

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