How Telehealth Can Support Value Based Care

How Telehealth Can Support Value Based Care

Achieving value-based care for your health system can lead to higher-quality patient care, increase provider satisfaction, and facilitate economic benefits for all.

But how can your health system achieve these benefits? Navigate through the table of contents below to learn how to advance your journey toward value-based care in a scalable and financially sustainable way.

Table of contents
Value based care for health systems
Filling gaps in care across the behavioral health continuum
Benefits of value-based behavioral health care
Get started on your journey towards value-based care mental health services

Value based care for health systems

According to an article by The Commonwealth Fund, value-based care has many benefits, including holding providers accountable for improving patient outcomes and giving them more flexibility to provide the right care at the right time. As it stands, the current fee-for-service model pays providers based on the number of services they facilitate rather than the quality of care they provide.

While many hospitals and health systems aim to provide value-based care for their community, it’s not always possible given the large spectrum of patients that come through their doors. For example, due to their large (and increasing) patient volumes, many hospitals have to default to a model where they have to triage patients who need immediate help in the ED, those who come in through referrals, then those who need proactive outreach. This approach causes delayed care and no follow-up, creating a barrier to providing the care that patients need and deserve.

The challenge many health systems face regarding behavioral health care is that there’s not enough access to be proactive and help the patients who need care. And unfortunately, due to growing referral queues, follow-up challenges, and inefficient workflows, helping patients receive this level of care isn’t always an option. Before an organization can be proactive and lean into a value-based care model, they must help patients with effective care that helps facilitate better patient outcomes and fill gaps in ambulatory and post-acute behavioral health care.

So, how can hospitals and health systems jumpstart their journey towards providing value-based care? That’s where leveraging care models that are evidence-based and built for scalability and financial sustainability come into play. Care models like Bridge Care Services delivered via telehealth can help ensure patients in need receive timely access to quality care.

Filling gaps in care across the behavioral health continuum

Every hospital faces a hierarchy of needs regarding patient care, and helping those with the highest acuity is top priority. Fortunately, Bridge Care Services can help ensure patients get the care they need so they don’t have to return to the hospital for additional care or escalate to the emergency department unnecessarily. The model was also built for scalability and financial sustainability to ensure it can help serve large populations effectively.

Bridge Care Services works by providing a clinician-guided, evidence-based navigation assessment that directs patients to the most appropriate next level of care, delivers effective short-term behavioral health care, and facilitates a closed-loop handoff that returns them their primary care provider, psychiatrist, or specialist for long-term care.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the components of what makes a bridge care program successful:

  • Dedicated care teams: Care teams are comprised of MDs, PMHNPs, and LCSWs who collaborate to provide the best care possible for patients.
  • Navigation assessments: Navigation assessments help patients get to the right level of care by looking at their needs through focused, biopsychosocial, and evidence-based questions.
  • Quality behavioral healthcare: An evidence-based short-term care model allows health systems to scale care in a financially sustainable way and get patients transferred back to primary care in an appropriate manner.
  • Closed loop handoff: Returning patients back to their PCP or specialist is an essential part of the bridge care process that helps ensure patients don’t fall through any future behavioral health gaps.

Benefits of value-based behavioral health care

Once an organization achieves value-based behavioral health care for their population, they reap many benefits, some of which, according to The Commonwealth Fund include reduction in cost care and improvement of quality of care. The Commonwealth Fund also highlights how value-based care can transform collaboration and allow providers to spend more time facilitating care related to counseling or screening for social needs.

Additionally, according to a behavioral health analysis by Evernorth Health Services, treating behavioral health conditions in outpatient care is directly tied with a reduction in medical and pharmacy costs. In their analysis, they highlight savings up to $2,565 per person over the 15 months following a diagnosis and up to $3,321 per person over the 27 months following a diagnosis.

Here are a few other key benefits that value-based behavioral health care can provide:

  • Healthier and more satisfied patient population
  • More fulfilled providers facilitating quality care
  • Lower total cost of care that helps you meet financial objectives
  • Better care so patients don’t escalate

At Iris Telehealth, our partners have successfully leveraged Bridge Care Services and helped move their organization closer to a value-based care model. For example, at Geisinger Health, we’ve helped them procure the following results with Bridge Care Services:

  • 83% reduction in referral backlog (18,000 – 3,000) within 6 months
  • 40 % of their psychiatry referrals were diverted to a lower, more cost-effective level of care
  • 38% improvement in their patient’s depression symptoms over eight weeks of care

To read the full story, check out our case study outlining how they leveraged our Bridge Care Services program.

Get started on your journey towards value-based care mental health services

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your hospital or health system address patient needs in your community, contact us today!

We want to hear from you. Seriously.

Whether you are a health organization looking to expand your telepsychiatry services or a prospective clinician who wants to join the team, we’d love to talk!