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  • Writer's pictureMuhammad Sair Khan

Drive Better Outcomes by Integrating General Health and Behavioral Health

Behavioral health facilities are playing a growing role in reducing healthcare costs and improving patient outcomes. Many patients who are unnecessarily hospitalized or visit the emergency department, driving up costs, have untreated substance use disorder or mental health disorders. By combining primary healthcare and behavioral health care, treatment centers can drive down costs by ensuring patients receive all the care they need, when they need it.

Benefits of Integrated Care to Patients

Because mental health care must be covered according to the Affordable Care Act, more patients than ever before have access to substance abuse disorder and behavioral health care. In turn, this gives providers greater opportunity to care for all of a patient’s health needs and even implement preventive care strategies.

Receiving primary care services during behavioral health treatment may also be the only time that patients have access to such care. Studies show that only about 10 percent of patients receiving behavioral health care are referred to a primary care physician for physical health issues. Even when referred, patients may feel they do not have the time or resources to seek out care on their own.

In your facility, providing primary care services can help your patients manage other conditions that affect their health and well-being, from blood pressure to diabetes to asthma. All of these conditions can be exacerbated by addiction or mental health disorders, which make it less likely that they seek care or can afford care. Even simple screenings for these conditions can go a long way in improving your patients’ overall health

Having better control of these conditions can help your patients experience better success in recovery by improving both their physical and mental ability to remain sober.

Benefits of Integrated Care to Your Facility

Patients who are physically healthy may be more likely to achieve other great outcomes, such as long-term sobriety. By tracking both physical and mental outcomes of your patients, you can prove to insurance companies that you offer quality, comprehensive care. This gives you more power to negotiate reimbursement rates and in-network contracts, increasing your bottom line.

Integrated care also allows you another opportunity to improve your facility’s financial health by increasing the number of services you can bill for. Though primary care services do not have high reimbursement rates, they offer you an opportunity to expand your care in ways that help both you and your patients.

Integrating services also provides you with an opportunity to develop partnerships with primary care providers and emergency departments in the area. Working with these professionals to care for people with substance use disorders can help increase your referrals and better address all of your patients’ health needs.

At Datapro billing, we can help you navigate the billing processes for all services, from addiction treatment to primary care. Our experienced team stays on top of the latest trends in reimbursement to ensure you are doing all you can to improve your bottom line. Contact us to learn how your facility can experience better financial health.

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