Intermountain launches company to integrate mental health services
Intermountain Healthcare has launched a new company, called Alluceo, offering a team-based approach to mental health services that is integrated and leverages a digital platform to facilitate communication.
The goal is to “normalize” mental health services and simplify the process of connecting patients with a team of skilled caregivers through a digital platform that “makes the science of mental health integration accessible and powers team-based care protocols.”
According to Intermountain, the technology involved enables a patient’s full care team—including family, doctors, mental health providers and care managers—to communicate remotely and seamlessly, assess risk and complexity, as well as deliver high-quality connected care. “Applying technology in this way opens new possibilities for mental and behavioral health care delivery as well as prevention and management of chronic conditions.”
The lack of integration between mental health and primary care has traditionally been a challenge in healthcare. However, the digital platform and services are designed to address those gaps and meet the needs of all those impacted by behavioral health concerns while reducing the financial burden to patients.
Alluceo’s mental health services and technology are backed by clinical evidence. A study published in August 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported favorable results from an Intermountain program called Mental Health Integration (MHI), which prioritizes physical and mental health equally while integrating behavioral health services as a routine part of primary care.
“All team members communicate and work together,” according to Intermountain. “Because of this team effort, MHI has received high satisfaction and confidence ratings from patients, care providers and clinic staff.”
Among the operational and clinical efficiencies achieved by MHI in the study:
- Team-based care model had higher rates of active depression screening—46.1 percent vs. 24.1 percent
- Lower rate of emergency room visits—a 23 percent reduction.
- Lower rate of hospital admissions—a 10.6 percent reduction.
- Lower cost of care to communities—a savings of 3.3 percent.
- Better patient care through improved care management—primary care physician encounters reduced by 7 percent, with more patients receiving focused care.
“Alluceo will enable other health systems, payers, providers, patients, and families to experience the same impactful results and, in the process, elevate the health of entire communities,” says Brenda Reiss-Brennan, mental health integration director at Intermountain Healthcare.