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Integrating Behavioral Health with Medical Health is the Right Thing to Do: edHEALTH’s Clinical Intervention Program Responds

Dec 17
Integrating Behavioral Health with Medical Health is the Right Thing to Do
Integrating Behavioral Health with Medical Health is the Right Thing to Do

By CYNTHIA MCGRATH | DECEMBER 17, 2019

Cynthia McGrath

We use a silo approach to healthcare. A podiatrist treats your foot or ankle; a cardiologist ­ your heart; and a dermatologist ­ your skin. Primary Care Physicians do their best at coordinating all of your care. However, your mental health is often overlooked no matter which kind of physician you’re visiting. “Treating the whole person is critical for quality of life,” said Teri Weber, Senior Vice President, Spring Consulting Group. “You can’t talk about someone’s health without including behavioral health.”

Patients with complex medical conditions frequently suffer from other conditions, including behavioral health issues. The 2011 SYNTHESIS initiative by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that:

  • 68% of adults with mental disorders have medical conditions; and
  • 29% of adults with medical conditions have mental disorders.

Responding to this need, KnovaSolutions®, edHEALTH’s clinical intervention program for employees and covered family members dealing with complex medical conditions, is adding behavioral health services. “Recognizing that our population’s health situation may be complicated by underlying mental health conditions that lead to added stress, we have added behavioral health staff,” said Rene Sims. Vice President, Clinical Services Account Relations for KnovaSolutions.

“Adding behavioral health services to our personalized care program for high-risk, high-cost employees and covered dependents addresses a critical need,” said Tracy Hassett, edHEALTH’s President and CEO.

High-risk participants frequently have social, financial, family and behavioral challenges in addition to extensive health care utilization. The presence of these factors make recovery from illness and return to productive work and family life challenging. The new services will help with a variety of needs, including:

  • Care for children, special needs children, and elder dependents
  • Financial concerns
  • Legal resources
  • Family concerns, such as addiction, abuse, and marital stress
  • Caregiver support and resources

“Behavioral health is a critical need, and adding this support will help our member school employees and family members suffering from complex conditions have better quality of life,” said Ms. Hassett.

“Not only is this the right thing to do, it will lead to better wellness outcomes,” said Ms. Sims.”

Cynthia (Cindy) McGrath is edHEALTH's Marketing Communications Strategist.

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