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Moving beyond network building: Innovative strategies to deliver excellent behavioral health care in a resource-constrained environment

With the increasing demand for behavioral health services and a projected shortage of mental health providers, health plans need to look beyond expanding provider networks to meet the needs of their communities. See how Modern Health leverages each strategy to report positive outcomes and deliver measurable impact.

Over the past five years, demand for behavioral health services has skyrocketed. In response to this surge in demand, Health Plans and other organizations have invested substantial resources in strengthening and expanding their offerings, including the onboarding of tens of thousands of new providers to their networks. Despite this effort, the US will be short about 31,000 full-time mental health providers by 2025. Simply put, there are not enough providers to meet the increasing demand for behavioral health support.

Therefore health plans cannot rely on expanding the networks of providers alone to solve the behavioral health needs of our communities. Plans and their partners must design new and innovative ways to deliver mental health care to the millions of members in need across the world. This will require a modern clinical approach that’s proven to work. Here are four key aspects to deliver high-quality mental health care at scale: 

  1. Focus on prevention

Successful behavioral health organizations will need to adopt similar practices to those of physical health care. We know from decades of research that successful use of preventative care is highly effective at reducing the risk of more serious, and costly, medical conditions. Yet we frequently do not provide preventative treatment options for mental health needs, which leads to more folks requiring higher acuity support with higher costs down the line.

  1. Provide an engaging member experience

Getting people access to health services isn't enough. To drive the best outcomes, members need to feel engaged in their care journey with an experience that is easy to navigate, personalized to their most pressing needs, and creates a sense of belonging. Delivering a high-quality member experience greatly increases the likelihood that the member will complete their treatment and know how (and when) to return to your service in the future.

  1. Effectively navigate members to the appropriate level of care

We must quickly and effectively steer members to the right resources for that unique individual. At Modern Health, we call this needs-based care. This is care that meets the right clinical need while also taking into account individual preferences. This could mean care delivered by a therapist or psychiatrist for those wanting 1:1 care, but it could also mean a group session or self-guided support if someone indicates they don’t want 1:1 care*. The most impactful care is the care members are willing and eager to engage in.

  1. Deliver quality regardless of the care modality

Clinical quality and rigor must be at the core of every intervention, regardless of acuity level. We must hold a high bar when it comes to our responsibility to deliver ethical, effective, and accessible interventions. We continue to pioneer user-centered design principles to create equitable, culturally-centered, innovative solutions to meet our standards for a seamless experience and positive outcomes. We’re proud of the impact Modern Health delivers for members, providers, and plans including:

  • 80% of members improve, recover, or maintain their wellbeing
  • A member NPS of 70
  • Post-session average provider rating of 4.9/5 
  • 90% of members are confident in their provider match

Modern Health is focused on delivering positive outcomes for the members we serve and the organizations who serve them. We’re seeing measurable impact by delivering against these four strategies. Curious to learn more or see how Modern Health can help advance your Plan or EAP’s strategy? Click here.

*Our research shows that >50% of members may not want 1:1 therapy even if they have clinical need.