How Can Value-Based Care Transform Serious Mental Illness Treatment?

Value-based care models help providers serve patients who have serious mental illness. This approach can lead to better outcomes and lower costs.


A value-based care model lets providers use a team approach to design and develop services and supports to help a patient address the conditions in which they live, work, and age. This approach focuses on whole-person well-being rather than just their mental illness. Value-based care breaks the cycle of care that is driven by financial reimbursement. Whereas financial reimbursement does not effectively solve problems, providing holistic care that gets to true recovery can.


Value-based care models treat serious mental illness by focusing on a patient’s physical, psycho-mental, societal, and community wellness. Many of these services are billable to Medicaid and Medicare to make the services more accessible.


Discover how value-based care can transform serious mental illness treatment.


Whole-Person Approach

Individuals with serious mental illness have a significantly lower life expectancy than individuals without serious mental illness. Part of these poor health outcomes is due to providers treating the head and the heart separately.


Patients with serious mental illness often are treated separately for physical, mental health, and social care issues. Reimbursement for these services does not support the holistic care that is needed to heal these patients.


Conversely, value-based care promotes a whole-person approach with an emphasis on prevention. Providing wrap-around services that involve support with peers, housing, and employment is significantly effective.


For instance, a value-based care company may use care from psychiatrists, primary care clinicians, nurse practitioners, peers, case managers, and community support sources to treat patients with serious mental illnesses. There might be fees per member per month or value-based payment models to cover the costs.


Peer Support Specialists  

One of the wrap-around services for value-based care involves peer support specialists. These specialists help build trust between patients with serious mental illness and the medical system.


Patients with a history of not being effectively treated for serious mental illness typically disengage from the medical system. Because these individuals continue to struggle, most do not focus on getting better.


Having a peer support specialist meet with a patient who has serious mental illness helps build trust in the medical system. As a result, the patient is more likely to engage in treatment and healing for a better quality of life.


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