Healthcare is at its most disruptive point since the 1980s when DRGs were implemented. At the center of the disruption is the ACA, which has turned our healthcare payment systems upside down. Healthcare leaders are now charged with developing systems to right-size reduced reimbursement with new care-delivery models.
At the center of the ACA is the mandated connection with mind and body, which has led to population management models requiring accountability for the whole person. There has never been a time when healthcare leaders have sought so much from the behavioral health field. In a recent CHA survey asking what keeps hospital CEOs up at night, the problem of psychiatric patients in their units and EDs was in the top three responses. The issue of having too many psychiatric patients has been ignored for too long. Innovative strategies are needed to develop new and different ways to treat these patients better and to turn the problem into an opportunity.