The news: The American Medical Association (AMA) released a new report detailing how providers can boost adoption of telehealth and digital health tools and better integrate them into behavioral healthcare.
The roles different stakeholders can play: The report specifically details how different healthcare stakeholders can implement digitally enabled behavioral health solutions.
2 key ways digital health can unlock value in behavioral healthcare: While the AMA lists several strategies that use digital tools to make the patient journey less fragmented—there two we think will be the most impactful to hep unlock wider access to mental healthcare in the US:
1. Virtual healthcare delivery
Video/audio visits and on-demand text-based communication with mental health providers can make behavioral healthcare more accessible by cutting out barriers like transportation and making it easier for patients to fit a visit into their schedules. This translates into better managed mental health conditions, lower downstream costs for insurers, and stable revenues for providers.
2. Care coordination tools
Between going to a primary care doctor, getting referred to the right behavioral health provider, finding the right medications/treatments, and navigating the back-and-forth with insurers—patients can easily fall through the cracks and miss out on the care they need. Digital health tools iron out the wrinkles in this process by streamlining communication among providers and easily integrating care functions like prescriptions and referrals.
The bigger picture: The mental health crisis in the US is still snowballing and being compounded by the growing shortage of mental health providers.