Health insurance companies aren’t really sure how commercial health insurance will work in 2018, so they are trying to focus on something they do understand: the need to do a better job of keeping enrollees healthy.
Given the profound uncertainty about what will happen, or not happen, in Washington, the most detailed, most concrete sessions tended to the ones dealing with keeping healthy enrollees healthy, and keeping enrollees with chronic health problems from getting more serious problems.
Here’s a look at some highlights from the meeting sessions, based on a review of session slidedecks:
Federal and state agencies are trying to do more to press health plans to offer parity between coverage for mental health services, addiction treatment services and other types of medical services.
Dr. Sherry Dubester, vice president for behavioral health and clinical programs at Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc., told attendees that improving the performance of behavioral health programs is critical for everyone.
About 29% of adults with medical conditions also have behavioral health conditions, and 68% of the adults with mental health conditions also have other types of medical conditions, Dubester said.
About 80% of patients with behavioral health problems show up first in primary care clinics or emergency rooms, but fewer than one-third of the primary care providers say they have an easy time connecting patients with outpatient behavioral health providers, Dubester said.
One solution might be to expand access to digital behavioral health care services, so that patients who show up in a primary care office with behavioral health problems can quickly see a behavioral health care provider through a video conferencing system, Dubester said.