Whole-person care is the coordination of health, behavioral health and social services with the goals of improving outcomes and making more efficient use of resources. But how does it work in practice across the post-acute and human services communities?

Let’s take a look at what’s driving whole-person care, similarities between post-acute care and human services providers and explore preliminary results from programs that are already in place.

Healthcare Costs Are Rising at Unsustainable Rates

And the biggest chunk of the healthcare expenditures goes to the smallest population group. Although they account for just 14 percent of the population, the elderly account for 34 percent of healthcare spending.1 They are also by far the most frequent users of home health and long-term care services.

Mental Health Issues Drive Up Healthcare Costs

When mental illness is present with other health issues, cost for treatment skyrockets. Considering that 35 percent of residents of long-term care experience clinical depression or significant depressive symptoms, the need to coordinate care and address those symptoms becomes clear.

“Less Than” Whole-person Care Is Very Inefficient

When multiple physicians are treating a patient following a hospital discharge, information about the patient’s care is missing 78 percent of the time.2

Three of 10 tests are re-ordered because results cannot be found and paper patient charts cannot be found on 30 percent of visits. That’s probably because physicians are still sending 15 billion faxes a year.

PAC and Human Services Providers Are More Similar Than You Think

Here’s just a few of the characteristics they share:

  • Need to connect to the rest of healthcare
  • Play a care coordination role for the community
  • Highly mobile workforce
  • Complex reimbursement level/models
  • Shift towards value-based care
  • Different margin profile than acute care
  • Care models tend to be less episodic

Data Shows Care Coordination Works!

Care coordination has been shown to reduce costs:

  • 80 percent reduction in overall health costs3
  • 30 percent reduction in hospital readmissions4
  • 148 percent more successful addictions treatment5

And in terms of “real” dollars … a care coordination program sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for Behavioral Health has racked up $22.3 million savings in disease management and $23.1 million savings in health homes.

Learn More in This Recorded Presentation

The Path to Whole-Person Care: Coordinating Care Across the Post-acute
and Human Services Spectrum
brings together experts in long-term care, home health, child and family services, and behavioral health. It offers an overview of whole-person care, a scenario that shows how care communities come together to improve outcomes and concludes with a panel discussion.

 

 

1National Health Expenditure Fact Sheet

2 Van Walraven, C., Seth, R., Austin, P. & Laupacis, A., 2002. Effect of discharge summary availability during post-discharge visits on hospital readmission. J Gen Intern Med, Volume 17, pp. 186-92.

3Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

4New York State Office of Mental Health

5Primary Care Research in Substance Abuse and Mental Health for the Elderly