Integration of Mental and Physical Treatment Leads to Improved Patient Outcomes
Roughly 5% of the patient population is complex. Those complex patients typically have a chronic physical issue (e.g., diabetes, renal disease, cancer) and a behavioral health issue (e.g., schizophrenia, depression, anxiety). Hospitals primarily treat patients solely for their physical ailments, ignoring underlying mental health problems. With no incentive for reimbursement, facilities often address a patient's mental health only as an afterthought. However, an untreated mental condition can prevent patients from properly managing physical health, thus causing the patient to be readmitted to the hospital. Addressing the needs of this small, expensive segment of the population could help curb healthcare spending.