Presented by Southern Cross Insurance Solutions
Daily Theme: Improving Care Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The integration of mental health services into the primary care setting is in close alignment with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) triple aim to increase patient satisfaction and access to care, improved health of communities, and decrease per capita costs of care. The purpose of this project was to examine the efficacy of a model of care that fully integrated mental health services into the primary care milieu. Efficacy of this model of care was examined using the IHI triple aim. Improved population health was measured by the number of calls received and handled by the mental health crisis team. Reduction in the per capita cost of care was analyzed by comparing the number of crisis calls handled through the integrated model of care to local emergency room visits involving a mental health diagnosis.
Over the course of the study, 44 crisis calls were diverted from the local emergency room through the program. The average cost of an emergency room visit for patients with a psychiatric diagnosis in Montezuma County Colorado was found to be $14,863 per visit. A cost savings of $653,972 for the 44 visits handled through the integrated model of care was realized.
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Dr. April Dobroth, DNP, FNP-c serves as a regional clinical faculty member for Frontier Nursing University. For the over six years, she has served in rural and underserved communities as a National Health Service Corp (NHSC) member and has been appointed as an ambassador for NHSC in the state of New Mexico. Additionally, she served as a representative for primary care providers on the New Mexico Behavioral Health Coalition (NMBHC) where she worked closely with the director of Health and Human Services, the Governor Susana Martinez, and several other medical professionals in New Mexico to address the dire need for increased access to behavioral health services in the state.