A recent research article published by ATI Advisory highlights the increasing need of behavioral health services in various hospital settings as the current Case Mix Index (CMI) indicates a continued increase in medically complex and seriously ill patients due to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated issues such as depression, suicidal thoughts, drug dependence, and in some cases, severe psychotic symptoms. These conditions have become more acute and severe – even in patients with no history of mental illness – as they have been magnified by social isolation and fear,” explained the article. This is not the first piece of research to surface that has highlighted the rise in mental health concerns among individuals, regardless of their medical history.
Public health specialists have also stated that “the mental health impact of the pandemic is likely to last much longer than the physical health impact.”
This has led both clinicians and payers to agree that behavioral health services will be needed in long-term care plans. An Inpatient Utilization Management Supervisor at a Managed Care Plan cited in the study stated that behavioral health program integration has become more and more beneficial in a hospital’s operational model.
The supervisor further commented that even if patients did not have behavioral health needs previously, there is a high chance they do now. Further, comorbid physical health and behavioral health issues are becoming more and more prevalent in all care settings.
Although the need for behavioral health services is strong, the obstacle of creating access to these services can be difficult to overcome due to the lack of available supply.
As providers are working toward filling the behavioral health gap, many are looking to partnership as a way to efficiently and effectively meet the growing and immediate needs of this complex population.
Contact us today to learn how we can help your hospital address the growing behavioral health demand in your community.