Utilizing Telehealth Services to Improve Access to Behavioral Healthcare
August 9, 2022
By: Scott Ackman
The following article was published by Becker’s Hospital Review
Behavioral health is a highly fragmented market. With an increased demand for providers as well as the recent supply shortage, this sector requires innovative partnerships and strategic thinking.
Here are the top three strategic issues in behavioral healthcare to consider currently.
Most health systems and provider groups struggle to recruit and retain enough psychiatrists to meet community needs. In many cases, a lack of provider resources limits the growth of existing services or prevents clients from offering a behavioral health program at all. Residency programs or other less formal relationships with medical schools have proven to be effective recruitment tools.
From a contribution margin and net income perspective, behavioral health services are well below average for many health systems. This is largely due to some combination of the following:
Organizations assuming higher levels of financial risk generally favor the economics of behavioral health due to the service line’s impact on the total cost of care. This phenomenon has resulted in increased interest and investment in behavioral health for many clients. VMG Health’s advisory clients have recently identified behavioral health as one of the most important service lines moving forward.
The care model needed to provide behavioral health continues to be an area of interest for many organizations. Clients are increasing investment in pre-inpatient and post-admission services and community resources to improve program performance.