What is it about?

Value Base Care (VBC) models reward clinical outcomes and present new opportunities to expand and improve mental health and addictions care. Challenges include a fragmented care delivery system, unmet social, physical and economic conditions that impact upon health, high rates of addiction and low rates of patient engagement. Improvement strategies include integrated medical and psychiatric hospital-based care, community-based outreach and support, and accessible addictions care.

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Why is it important?

In a fee-for-service (FFS) payment model, behavioral health services frequently cost more to deliver than the reimbursement rates could support. In VBC models, efforts to fully integrate behavioral health are essential to improve clinical outcomes and contain rising costs. The shift from FFS to VBC presents opportunities to improve and expand mental health and addictions services, but only if healthcare systems recognize and seize these opportunities.


In my experience, many healthcare providers find it difficult to imagine that a new payment model could expand and improve behavioral healthcare. I hope this article will accurately represent the challenges and opportunities our safety-net healthcare system has encountered in the transition from FFS to VBC, and inspire providers to engage in systems transformation.

Cambridge Health Alliance

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Recognizing and Seizing the Opportunities That Value-Based Payment Models Offer Behavioral Health Care, Psychiatric Services, June 2021, American Psychiatric Association,
DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.202000044.
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