Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBRI) is collaborating with behavioral healthcare provider partners to gather and leverage population health data. The payer awarded $422,000 to a behavioral healthcare provider partner to boost the provider’s ability to collect and analyze the information.
“We are encouraged by Newport Mental Health’s proactive approach in analyzing available data to discover what’s most effective when it comes to behavioral healthcare treatments,” said Sarah Fleury, a licensed independent social worker, healthcare quality professional, and BCBSRI manager of behavioral health. “This type of value-based care and collaboration improves patient care and reduces the burden on the healthcare system, and we are proud to support it.”
While developing strong mental healthcare support for members has been a priority for payers in recent years, the matter is especially urgent as mental health conditions nationwide deteriorate due to the recession and the pandemic. Thus, gathering population health data to assess risk for a variety of concerning health outcomes has been critical to rapidly evolving payer strategies in the past few months.
However, BCBSRI’s provider partner, Newport Mental Health, did not have a strong population health model.
Want to publish your own articles on DistilINFO Publications?
Send us an email, we will get in touch with you.
“Recognizing the challenges in implementing effective population health management and reporting strategies within a behavioral health practice, BCBSRI is hoping to ease the transition for Rhode Island providers as part of the company’s commitment to promoting access to high- quality, cost-effective behavioral healthcare,” the press release explained.
To expand the provider’s capabilities, the BCBSRI grant funds will go towards building out the technological infrastructure necessary for such data collection—specifically, introducing a more population health-oriented EHR system. A portion of the grant will also allow the provider to hire a population data analyst to help interpret the mental health data.
The grant is part of a Behavioral Health Quality Grant program. The program helps behavioral healthcare providers make the leap into population health models. These models support methods such as screenings and tracking and reporting outcomes.
The data that Newport Mental Health collects will assist in designing and assessing community intervention programs. These programs touch on a variety of areas including social determinants of health, chronic disease patterns and chronic disease management, and community-based organizations and resources.
As a result, the impact of this grant goes beyond this one BCBSRI partner. Providers throughout the region will be able to use the subsequent population health data that this system gathers to inform their own programs and strategies.
Newport Mental Health is just one company in a network of 110 mental healthcare providers that serve the state of Rhode Island. The grant funds will also help make data accessible to these providers.
In addition to implementing new technologies, another way that BCBSRI collects population health data is through the Life Index. The Life Index surveys Rhode Islanders to discover key social determinants of health barriers.
Most recently, the survey uncovered a widespread housing stability issue. With this data in mind, BCBSRI dedicated a five-year grant worth $200,000 toward addressing housing issues through multiple channels.
Earlier in the year, BCBSRI also started a peer recovery program to enhance their substance abuse care programs and encourage treatment regimen and medication adherence.
Despite its small size, Rhode Island’s opioid-related overdose rate is nearly double the national average. In the peer recovery program, BCBSRI partnered with a local organization working at the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in Rhode Island to help diminish stigmas surrounding addition and provide patients with a support network.
BCBSRI built on community ties like these to inform its response to coronavirus a well. The payer partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Health, United Way and the Rhode Island Foundation in order to meet the needs of the community.
The grant emphasizes what a critical function population health management plays in the payers-provider partnership, as both BCBSRI and the behavioral healthcare provider leverage it to serve the Rhode Island community.
Source: HealthPayer Intelligence