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Historically, behavioral health and medical health have existed in silos, and behavioral health conditions have not received as much focus as medical conditions. These silos have perpetuated the stigma associated with behavioral health and resulted in unmet care needs, adversely effecting health outcomes and significantly effecting health care costs.
In 2012, individuals with co-occurring behavioral and medical conditions incurred almost $300 billion in additional health care costs.1 It is estimated that between nine to 16 percent of this additional spending could be saved through effective integration of behavioral and medical care, a $26 to 48 billion cost savings.1 As a result, today there is growing awareness that it is necessary to integrate behavioral and medical care to improve affordability, quality, and patient and provider experience to achieve total health improvement. Integration can be achieved through appropriate collaboration and coordination between medical providers and behavioral providers, supported by technology, legislative changes, and health plans.
1Milliman, Inc., American Psychiatric Association report, “Economic Impact of Integrated Medical-Behavioral Healthcare: Implications for Psychiatry,” April 2014.