Blog Post

Your guide to prioritizing behavioral health interventions

July 25, 2017

    There's a pressing need for behavioral health management: Nearly 20% of adults experience a mental health issue, and more than half of patients with a diagnosed behavioral health need also have chronic illnesses or other medical conditions' However, provider shortages, stigma, and limited reimbursement create significant barriers to timely, cost-effective care.

    In light of these challenges, many organizations struggle to address their patients' behavioral health needs. Setting up an effective strategy can be difficult given the size of the population, access barriers, and the scarcity of available resources. Tailoring services based on patient need and highest impact are two strategies that will set you up for success.

    Services tailored to patient acuity and common barriers help to attain scale

    What we've learned from speaking to best-in-class behavioral health managers is that to design an effective behavioral health management strategy, organizations must develop programs that allocate resources based on acuity and address common barriers to care.

    Patient characteristics such as diagnosis, level of social and professional functioning, and duration of illness can help to define a patient's acuity level and inform the development of tailored services.

    Universal mental health screening and tele-psychiatry demonstrate high priority, near-term solutions

    To scale services system-wide, organizations must determine the best care delivery model for their population based on patient demand, projected program impact, resource intensity, and program scalability.

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