Page 23

Health System Management • December 2016

23 WWW.HEALTHSYSTEMMGMT.COM Limited coordination of care and disparate approaches to treatment are driving forces that create deficiencies in care — and a price tag comes with each inefficiency. Health care organizations looking to cut costs and boost outcomes must eliminate silos of care, as each additional step or task drives up expenditure and potential for readmission. Key deficits associated with care silos include decreased treatment follow through and complicated referral processes. We know that when there isn’t a “warm hand-off” between services, patients can fall between the cracks. THE ROLE OF PRIMARY CARE Recent studies suggest one in five primary care patients will be diagnosed with a mental health disorder, and 70% of all primary care patient visits are related to behavioral health. Understanding this intersection is important, as a recent study from Health Affairs1 found that mental disorders are the most costly condition in the U.S., totaling $201 billion in 2013. With the increase in comorbidity seen between physical and emotional health, primary care providers have become the gatekeepers to access the growing demand for behavioral health care. Acknowledging the overlap in behavioral health and primary care allows providers to deploy patient-focused care concentrating on the whole person while addressing issues related to wellness, nutrition, lifestyle, emotional health and substance abuse. LOWER READMISSIONS WITH THESE PATIENT-CENTRIC SOLUTIONS The goal of providing high-quality care to prevent patients from being readmitted for more treatment unnecessarily is at the top of many organizations’ priorities. Here are five areas to focus on when working to lower readmissions while boosting quality 1. of care. Treat the whole patient, and provide care with the development of a comprehensive treatment plan. No matter where the point of entry is for a patient, there must be guaranteed comprehensiveness of care engrained in the treatment process. This


Health System Management • December 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above