WEA Trust, a Wisconsin-based not-for-profit insurer, does that by protecting patients prescribed opioids for the first time. Its pharmacy utilization management program limits initial opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. WEA Trust also collaborates with providers to ensure opioid prescriptions are evidence-based and medically appropriate. In just five months, opiate prescriptions dropped 27 percent, with 91,000 fewer pills dispensed.
The first nationwide benchmark study measuring the health care industry’s progress in combating the opioid crisis was released. This important baseline analysis shows the positive steps clinicians and insurance plans have taken together – and identifies specific actions that can be taken to reduce addiction and abuse.
Payers are stretched to the breaking point trying to manage the onslaught of substance use disorder cases. It’s more important than ever to acquire accurate data to help payers and policy makers establish effective and long-lasting opioid crisis measures.
Population trend data outlines the behavioral health challenges and changes occurring throughout the United States. For payers, understanding the movement of population segments help estimate coverage patterns and potential for claims submissions. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released an annual survey of the population of the United States ages 12 years or older. The main First Findings Report contains a cross-section of NSDUH data on substance use and substance use disorders, mental health issues among adults and adolescents, and co-occurring disorders.
Autism care costs balance in the middle of many competing issues and agendas leaving payers, providers, and consumers trying to sort out the facts from fictions. The size of the funding pie “…over the next 10 years [is] about a half a million youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will enter adulthood. The majority of the costs in the U.S. health care systems for ASD are directed at the adult population: $175 to $196 billion for adults compared to $61 to $66 billion for children.” writes Monica Oss, CEO, Open Minds.
Behavioral health documentation is often the communication tool used by and between professionals. Records not properly documented with all relevant and important facts can prevent the next practitioner from furnishing sufficient services. The outcome can cause unintended complications.
Behavioral healthcare cuts both ways for payers and providers. Shortages of qualified expertise makes filling positions difficult to impossible, while the need for services grows on many fronts and in many populations. The Daily Briefing How 2 health systems are rethinking mental health care for a value-based world, from the Advisory Board, reinforces the connections between behavioral and physical health. This identifies tangible targets, like reducing behavioral health readmissions, for improving patient care and institutional financial health.
Payers and providers spend significant energy recruiting and retaining all levels of behavioral health professionals. The access to psychiatrists acts as the 'canary in a coal mine' signalling the impending challenges. Lacking mental health expertise hits organizations at a time of increasing use spurred on by value-based care.
Massachusetts bill (H 1070/S 1093) adds to the definition of “medically necessary services” and challenges the notion of who decides medical necessity. Medical necessity criteria sits at the center of case and claim determinations. Laws, policies, and procedures evolve through time and the various administrations both locally and nationally.
The greatest need for mental health professionals are found in the more populated east coast and remote northern states. Large populations and rural settings significantly impact behavioral health staff shortages. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released the most current data. The table shows the 10 states with the worst behavioral health professions clinical coverage, the national average, and the 10 states with the best BH coverage.