Health Plans, Boost Partners’ Value-Based Care Strategy with Behavioral Health

True behavioral health integration enhances providers’ value-based care strategy.

The growing mental health crisis has stretched the healthcare industry in new and challenging ways. Primary care and other providers continue to do their best to care for increasingly complex cases – including managing more behavioral health conditions than ever before. At the same time, health plans are trying to ensure members get the care they need without incurring unsustainable budget overruns. 

True behavioral health integration offers health plans a tremendous opportunity to improve health outcomes, improve member retention, better predict risk and contain costs. By embedding behavioral health tools within physical medicine practices across the care continuum, health plans also can create win-win relationships with their members and their value-based care provider groups.

Here’s why: Research shows members with chronic medical and mental health conditions or substance use disorders (SUDs) have substantially higher medical costs than members without behavioral health conditions. But health plans that equip providers with collaborative behavioral health integration technologies enable a preventive approach, offering members access to behavioral health content and services before costly specialty care becomes necessary. Programs such as tech-enabled behavioral health integration and tech-enabled psychiatric collaborative care also make it easy for health plans to measure treatment efficacy and member outcomes. 

Health plans can approach care integration in two unique ways: through their provider partners, enhancing their value-based care strategy, or at the member population level. Both address clinical collaboration and behavioral health management in critical ways. However, the value-based care strategy presents a unique opportunity to serve as a connector between members, providers, care management teams and your health plan. Here are some additional benefits health plans can expect from arming their value-based care strategy partners with a comprehensive BHI or CoCM solution:

#1: Enable preventive care

A care integration solution that enables population-wide virtual assessments helps primary care teams identify members who may benefit from behavioral health resources. On top of enhancing member satisfaction and outcomes, this approach allows health plans to achieve greater overall savings by encouraging less costly, proactive member care.

#2: Simplify clinical coordination workflows

Primary care and other physical medicine providers are often wary when it comes to behavioral health. Successful BHI and CoCM programs help physicians confidently screen members, knowing there’s a smooth hand-off to appropriate in-network behavioral health specialists when needed. Providers enjoy the satisfaction of helping members receive the most appropriate care while not having to take on the burden of delivering care beyond their specialty.

#3: Improve healthcare and business outcomes

Health plans and their value-based care partners share similar goals – better health outcomes at lower costs. By using a BHI or CoCM solution equipped with risk stratification capabilities, it’s easier to proactively manage member populations, keeping individuals healthier and intervening before costly visits to the emergency room or worse occur.

By investing in a comprehensive BHI or CoCM program, health plans can empower value-based care partners within their networks to overcome burdens accentuated by the mental health crisis In turn, care integration is proven to reduce the cost of care for health plans while motivating member engagement, improving member outcomes, and enriching the member experience.

For more insight, learn about a population health approach to BHI and CoCM, or contact us to request a demo today!

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