Hello Everyone and Happy Belated Labor Day! We hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend as the summer winds to completion (I for one am not thrilled, but hey, at least we have football!) In this blog, I'll cover an area that is ripe with opportunity for improving overall quality of life through expanded care coordination efforts: Behavioral Health. Estimates show that approximately 65 million Americans are afflicted with a behavioral health condition, 13 million of whom are Medicare beneficiaries. The projected health care costs associated with these conditions is $57 billion - yes, that is billion with a “b” - a staggering amount that puts the behavioral health-related spend on a level playing field with cancer. For many years, and particularly within the Medicare community, these conditions were rarely addressed. Older adults, mostly affected by preexisting chronic conditions, generally look to their primary care physicians to provide treatment. Unfortunately, this community of providers were limited in their ability to identify – or even acknowledge – a patient’s behavioral issues, as the diagnosis and management of these issues was restricted to settings that specialized in mental health. This resulted in upwards of two-thirds of qualified Medicare beneficiaries failing to receive the appropriate care. The downstream impact on physical outcomes, in hindsight, is rather obvious – for example, a depressed patient may not feel motivated to take the actions recommended by their doctor in association with their chronic physical ailment. If we intend to effectively address the physical conditions, we first need to effectively address the behavioral ones.
Application of Medicare’s preventative, wellness and care management programs continue to gain traction throughout the healthcare industry. ThoroughCare’s partners continue to play their part in promoting them, leveraging our software’s capabilities to provide Chronic Care Management, Behavioral Health Intervention, Annual Wellness Visit, care coordination and preventative screening services to an aging population and successfully navigating them down the path to an improved quality of life. While physicians and their staff can sense these improvements through more consistent engagement and healthy dialogue with their patients, how do they really know that their health outcomes are, in fact, improving? Simply put: the proof is in the data.
See how ThoroughCare simplifies Medicare's most complex programs.