Access to care tagged posts

Insurance Coverage Doesn’t Guarantee Timely Access to Care

Picture of Simon F. Haeder

Simon F. Haeder, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science, West Virginia University

With a national shortage of healthcare providers and insurance companies continually seeking to contain costs, it’s no secret that networks are shrinking. And as more patients opt into Affordable Care Act plans, there’s a lot of chatter about whether patients with marketplace plans (most of whom are lower income and rely on subsidies) face restricted access to care.

But when it comes to actually comparing these new marketplace plans to traditional commercial plans, there’s not much in the way of data. So, my colleagues and I decided to conduct a secret shopper-style survey of 743 primary care providers throughout California.

Our findings were revealing. While there was little difference between commercial and marketplace plans, both performed poorly. Less than 30% of patients—for both plans—were able to get appointments with the primary providers of their choice.

The research proved insurance coverage doesn’t necessarily guarantee timely access to care. In order for our healthcare system to improve, we must start giving patients accurate information and adequate networks so they can access the care they need and deserve.

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What Does Integrated Care Actually Look Like?

A look at one program, and insight into how and why it works

Angela Mattson, DNP, MS, RN
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

There’s been lots of discussion lately about integrated care, and how bringing behavioral healthcare into the primary care setting is the most effective, efficient, and sensitive way to care for people with mental healthcare needs.

But what’s that actually mean? What does integrated (or coordinated or collaborative) care look like from the patient perspective? As the Nursing Supervisor for Care Coordinat...

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Can Coordinated Care Improve Outcomes?

David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health
Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

Mental health and physical care coordination is an idea whose time has come. Not only is it proven to provide better patient outcomes, it achieves success at significantly lower costs.

Both TEAMcare, utilized throughout North America, and Care of Mental, Physical, and Substance-use Syndromes (COMPASS) are receiving growing acceptance and success...

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Would Ending Siloed Health Care Improve Patient Outcomes?

David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health
Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

In my last post, I shared how people can become both engaged in and influence the quality of their mental health care. However, even more quality gains can be had by integrating the delivery of mental health care into the primary care setting.

Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked and should not be treated in isolation...

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What Role Do Patients Play in Improving Quality of Care? A Big One.

David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health, Mayo Clinic
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

With a world of health information literally at our fingertips, patients are more informed and engaged than ever. Research indicates that patients who are actively involved in their own healthcare receive higher quality care and achieve better health outcomes.

Yet when it comes to mental health care, there is a lag in patient involvement, often because of the stigma attached to mental illness...

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How Can We Improve Timely Access to Mental Health Care Services?

Shortage of mental health care providers

In Tuesday’s expert perspective, Dr. David Baron provided insights into innovative treatment models that have been implemented throughout the country. These models range from rural areas in West Virginia to large urban cities such as Philadelphia and seek to provide broader access to mental health services. At first blush it might appear that these two geographic locations have little in common in regards to access to mental health care...

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A Conversation with David Baron, MSED, DO

david_baronDavid Baron, MSED, DO

Professor and Vice Chair, and Chief of Psychiatry, University Hospital, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Care For Your Mind: As the provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented, what are the big changes you see for mental health care?

David Baron: Mostly, they are positive changes. More people will receive services whether under expanded Medicaid or purchasing insurance: this will enable them to seek care that they might not have had previously. The key will be making sure there are enough professionals to provide the care that people need and, of course, helping people to understand what kind of care they are entitled to.

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Three Challenges to Accessing Care

Ron Mandersheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron Manderscheid

On the May 1 “Access to Care” post, we asked, “If you or a family member needed care today for a mental health or substance use condition, would you be able to get it?”

Access to care can help prevent, delay, and treat mood disorders, other mental conditions, and co-occurring illnesses among the 45.6 million adults and 15.6 million children and youths who experience a mental health condition.

However, in reality:

  • Fewer than 40% of adults and youths with mental health conditions—including mood disorders—ever get any mental health services
  • Fewer than 7% of adults with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders get treatment for both.

Let’s explore access challenges to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of behavioral health conditions.

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