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White House Highlights Commitment to Integration
In President Biden’s first State of the Union (SOTU) address, America’s worsening mental health crisis was brought to the forefront. As a thought leader, evolvedMD has well chronicled and documented the harrowing state of mental health, illustrating the need for swift action given the current system is at its breaking point.
Following the most recent SOTU, it seems that action is here, with mental health a top priority of the administration. In particular, the President highlighted:
- Children’s mental health – proposing $1 billion in the 2023 budget for schools to hire more counselors, psychologists, and social workers; also holding social media platforms accountable
- Building up the mental health workforce – investing $700 million into workforce recruitment and training programs
- Access - making sure insurance covers mental health and substance use care
- Integrated care – doubling funding for primary and behavioral health integration programs
As one of the nation’s leaders in behavioral health integration, we are encouraged by President Biden’s mental health agenda and earmarked investments. Given evolvedMD’s core service, behavioral health integration in modern primary care, we are particularly thrilled by the commitment to integrated care – a move that will help evolvedMD and like-minded organizations proactively address the worsening mental health crisis at scale.
Integrated Care as Validated Strategy
We know firsthand how behavioral health integration is uniquely positioned to address the mental health crisis highlighted by countless articles and now a focus of the Biden administration. Traditional behavioral health care is often reactive, only treating patients when symptoms become severe. There’s also an unfortunate stigma attached to seeking professional help, and even when people do seek help, it can take months just to get an appointment. Quite simply, traditional behavioral health care programs are not equipped to handle the crisis at scale—but integrated care programs are.
Knowing 80% of people with a behavioral health disorder will visit a primary care provider at least once a year, it makes sense to meet patients where they are and where they prefer care. By integrating behavioral health with their preferred primary care practice, integration programs help:
- Reduce stigma and increase access – rather than seeking help in the community, a patient can seek physical and mental health care in the same building as their physician or other PCP
- Provide collaborative, whole-patient care – embedding licensed mental health professionals and in a primary care provider’s collaborative team equips them with the tools and resources necessary to deliver high-quality behavioral health services and save lives
- Increased patient satisfaction and positive care outcomes – having a collaborative team at their side improves outcomes such as reducing depression and anxiety and enhancing overall care experience
Behavioral health integration provides benefits to providers and the modern primary care system, too. According to a Milliman Research Report, an estimated $38 billion to $68 billion can potentially be saved through effective integration, significant savings that create a clear path to Value Based Care.
Pathways to Integration
The widespread adoption of integration will not happen overnight, but primary care practices can still take action to get ahead. If you are a health system or primary care group interested in integration, there a number of pathways and resources including CFHA with evolvedMD uniquely positioned as the most comprehensive.
Research shows that medical providers appreciate having behavioral health partners available to help patients with problems they don’t have time or training to properly address. Embedding evolvedMD’s team of behavioral health experts into your collaborative care team ensures your practice can offer a comprehensive solution tailored to your patients’ needs. While our comprehensive model is not a one stop shop (because behavioral health is nuanced and complex), we can be the first stop to make the complex manageable, allowing your patients to have an advocate right from the start.