Behavioral health disorders affect 44 million adults in America. Despite more than 70% of rural and urban patients reporting satisfaction with using telebehavioral health, fewer than half of this growing population receive the treatment they need.
The stigma of mental illness, the lack of coverage and inadequate reimbursement, and a significant shortage of behavioral health professionals contribute to the barrier to care that exists for those who need it.
The National Quality Forum (NQF), the nation’s leading resource for health care quality measurement and improvement, and the American Hospital Association (AHA) Center for Health Innovation have partnered to release Redesigning Care: A How-To Guide for Hospitals and Health Systems Seeking to Implement, Strengthen and Sustain Telebehavioral Health. The guide supports both hospital and health system efforts in delivering innovative, high-quality telebehavioral health services to patients and communities across the nation.
“This guide is unique because it is informed by perspectives across clinical care, technology, strategy, and implementation,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., NQF president and CEO. “It gives C-suite leaders, managers and front-line staff the strategies, interventions, and tools needed to make smart decisions, take actionable steps and deliver quality behavioral health care to patients.”
Telebehavioral health offers tremendous potential to improve patient outcomes and experience by transforming care delivery, overcoming geographic distances and enhancing access to care, particularly in underserved and rural areas or both.
In addition to actionable strategies and interventions to improve patient outcomes, the how-to guide:
“Telebehavioral health expands access, improves outcomes and lowers costs,” said Andrew Shin, chief operating officer of the AHA Center for Health Innovation. “Whether a hospital or health system is starting a new service or strengthening existing programs, this guide provides practical guidance for scaling and sustaining innovative models for behavioral health.”
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