The behavioral health landscape is fragmented. Patients receive care from multiple providers across settings, data sharing across stakeholders is murky at best, and reimbursement is confusing and often inadequate. The result? A system that doesn't work for most of the individuals it aims to serve. This is a complex challenge that requires cross functional collaboration across various stakeholders to solve.
That's why we convened a roundtable of 21 behavioral health leaders from health plans, provider organizations, and life sciences companies to problem-solve for the most intractable challenges spanning the care journey.
Here are our main takeaways from the conversation.
The consensus from this session was best summed up by a payer leader who said, to unanimous agreement: "We have to work together—none of us can solve this alone." Our team was frankly surprised by how undisputed this sentiment was for these leaders.
In that spirit, attendees agreed that they need to think creatively about which individuals and organizations—beyond traditional stakeholders—they should work with to improve care and reduce fragmentation in behavioral health.
To expand the care team beyond PCPs and specialists, attendees proposed:
To engage stakeholders beyond health plans and provider offices, attendees identified two types of groups as potential partners:
With so many players involved in the behavioral health care journey, it's not surprising that individuals are confused about where, when, and from whom to seek care—they shouldn't have to serve as the connecting points across stakeholders. But for stakeholder-led coordination to work at scale, the roundtable agreed it must be baked into the way they do business. They pointed to a few emerging opportunities that give them hope:
One thing that struck our team is that two of these "emerging" ideas are well-established practices for physical health. But operational and regulatory challenges around documentation and data sharing, coupled with the legacy separation of behavioral and physical health have left behavioral health care behind the curve on these best practices.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) often exacerbate and/or are exacerbated by an individuals' behavioral health conditions. Providers, payers, and life sciences leaders alike emphasized the need for health care organizations to consider SDOH when designing any behavioral health strategy. Two examples they pointed to included:
We'll admit—we expected this conversation to be more difficult—or even contentious—than it was. As it turned out, the hard part wasn't getting the roundtable to agree that they need to work hand in hand with cross-industry peers, nor was it coming up with ideas for how to improve behavioral health care.
The hard part is what comes next: figuring out the nuts and bolts of putting these collaborative ideas into action and seeing them through. And keep in mind, as the roundtable highlighted, any next steps you take must also address health equity to prevent further exacerbating disparities in care and outcomes.
At Sunovion, we are advancing therapies to tackle some of the most challenging psychiatric and neurological disorders that impact the lives of millions of people worldwide. As a patient-centered company, we focus on improving the quality of life for those living with serious CNS conditions. Within a decade, we have introduced several new treatment options and will continue expanding our portfolio to enable better outcomes for those we serve.
This blog post is sponsored by Sunovion, an Advisory Board member organization. Representatives of Sunovion helped select the topics and issues addressed. Advisory Board experts wrote the post, maintained final editorial approval, and conducted the underlying research independently and objectively. Advisory Board does not endorse any company, organization, product or brand mentioned herein.
This blog post is sponsored by Sunovion. Advisory Board experts wrote the post, conducting the underlying research independently and objectively.
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