Many Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are eyeing behavioral health integration to drive down the cost of care, boost accessibility and improve overall health outcomes.

ACOs work outside the traditional fee-for-service model. Instead, provider reimbursement is tied to the quality of care and overall spending reduction.

While several studies have documented the impacts of behavioral health on a patient’s physical health, each ACO is taking its own approach to integration. Some have implemented co-location, while others have partnered with tech companies to provide their patients with virtual care options.


A home-based approach

Massachusetts-based Innovive teams up with ACOs and Medicaid to help provide in-home skilled nursing to patients with serious mental illness (SMI).

Its model marries together physical and behavioral health needs. It provides skilled nursing as its primary service but also offers physical therapy, occupational therapy and home health aides.

Although it doesn’t directly staff behavioral health providers, its staff are specifically trained to work with patients with SMI and chronic conditions. The model considers that folks with SMI often have a harder time managing chronic conditions.

Innovive goal is to help keep patients at risk out of the hospital and help patients see health improvements.

Although Innovive is not an ACO, it demonstrates how ACOs can collaborate with outside organizations to improve a patient’s overall health while accounting for behavioral health concerns.

Read the full article from Editor Laura Lovett: How ACOs Are Integrating Behavioral Health Services – Behavioral Health Business (