Employers and other payers have much to gain from integrated care through long-term cost savings in health premiums and reduction of disability days.
Integrated Primary Care is cost effective in three primary ways:
Adding a Behavioral Health Clinician to a primary care practice saves on the overall cost of patients’ care by lowering inappropriate usage of emergency and inpatient services.
A Behavioral Health Clinician, if s/he is available to discuss emotional or behavioral issues raised in the care of patients when they come to see their doctor, can free up the doctor to see more patients, thus increasing overall revenue for the practice.
When Integrated Team-Based care is done throughout a large health system, the overall savings can be remarkable (e.g., $115/year/patient or @$13 million for one health system through reduced ER visits, reduced hospital admission and higher levels of screening and adherence to treatment protocols).
Blount, A., Schoenbaum, M., Kathol, R., Rollman, B., Thomas, M. O’Donohue, W., & Peek, C.J. (2007). The economics of behavioral health services in medical settings: A summary of the evidence. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38, 290-297.