CHA News Article

Report Shows Economic Impact of Integrating Medical and Behavioral Health Care

Treating patients with chronic medical and comorbid mental health/substance use disorder (MH/SUD) conditions can be more than twice as costly as treating those who don‘t have the comorbid MH/SUD conditions. A new report conducted by Milliman, Inc. and commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association addresses the escalating health care costs across the U.S. and the potential savings from integrating medical and behavioral health. The report, Economic Impact of Integrated Medical-Behavioral Healthcare, Implications for Psychiatry, attributes most of the increased cost for those with comorbid MH/SUD conditions to medical services rather than behavioral health, creating a significant opportunity for savings on the medical side through integration of behavioral and medical services. The report projects that integration would save between $26.3 and $48.3 billion annually, and examines commercial payers, Medicare and Medicaid, with breakdowns by diagnosis.