Behavioral Health Programs Critical to Population Health Success

As hospitals and health systems work to develop population health strategies to better serve their communities and rein in the overall cost of care, behavioral health patients cannot be ignored.

Behavioral health patients have higher-than-average rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions. To make behavioral health a core part of its population health strategy, one Ohio health system is partnering with a mental health services provider.

As hospitals and health systems work to develop population health strategies to better serve their communities and rein in the overall cost of care, behavioral health patients—who have higher-than-average rates of emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions—cannot be ignored.

These individuals make up a large subset of the patient population. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 43.7 million (18.6%) US adults experienced some form of mental illness that year. Additionally, 20.7 million adults (8.8%) had a substance use disorder, and of those, 8.4 million people had both a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder.

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