A year-long, innovative outpatient behavioral health pilot has yielded an 84 percent reduction in hospital readmissions and a 58 percent reduction in ER visits, reducing costs and increasing positive health outcomes for participants.
The pilot program, a joint endeavor of Oceans Healthcare and Medicaid health plan Louisiana Healthcare Connections, established an intensive outpatient treatment model for members who demonstrated a need for behavioral health care.
Implemented at Oceans Behavioral Hospitals across Louisiana, the pilot yielded significant reductions in hospital admissions, readmissions, and emergency room use for Medicaid members enrolled in Louisiana Healthcare Connections.
Oceans provided members with outpatient services that included intensive daily counseling, relapse reduction strategies, and coordinated care management planning. These services enable patients with mental health diagnoses, such as schizophrenia and severe depression, to receive treatment outside the often-costly setting of a hospital ER or inpatient unit. In many cases, patients managing chronic mental illness were able to increase the frequency of treatment contributing to better long-term outcomes. Through outpatient services, patients are empowered to maintain jobs and live at home with their families while receiving care.
“Care delivery is changing, and we want to create a system in which individuals are best positioned to seek treatment in the least restrictive environment,” said Stuart Archer, CEO of Oceans Healthcare. “Through our pilot program, we have clear evidence that our proven clinical model is critical to supporting the most vulnerable individuals in our communities, enhancing patient outcomes and addressing expensive hospitalizations and readmissions.”
Kendra Case, Louisiana Healthcare Connections chief operating officer, said, “Our joint goal for this pilot was to demonstrate that these services were a missing step in the life cycle of patients with complex psychological conditions. Too often, when these services are not available, behavioral health patients may fall through the cracks in the system. This model ensures they have the support they need, from the moment they leave the inpatient setting, and the result is both improved health outcomes and reduced health care costs.”
Between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019, results achieved include:
·A 50% increase in care management engagement among enrolled members
·An 84% reduction in hospital admissions among enrolled members
·An 84% reduction in hospital readmission rates among enrolled members
·A 58% reduction in ER visits among enrolled members
“The results of our pilot shine a light on a solution that could help so many individuals in need,” Archer said. “We’re looking to the future as we put a greater emphasis on supporting the patient wherever they may be along their health care journey.”
“Oceans Behavioral Health shares our commitment to helping our members achieve improved health through evidence-based, cost-effective care,” said Case. “We look forward to a continued partnership with Oceans in expanding this pilot in our state and engaging other facilities and hospitals in this innovative model of care.”