New Toolkit Aims to Improve Care Coordination and Health Outcomes
PITTSBURGH – May 4, 2021 – Gateway Health Plan, Inc., (“Gateway Health”), a leading managed care organization dedicated to caring for the “total health” of its members, has introduced a new toolkit that supports behavioral health practitioners in coordinating care for their patients, especially for the seriously mentally ill (SMI) population living with chronic health conditions.
Gateway Health’s behavioral health provider toolkit was designed to improve health outcomes for the vulnerable SMI population, decrease health inequities and disparities that are prevalent in the SMI population, and address the many challenges associated with the care and treatment of chronic health conditions. The toolkit contains helpful information about some of the most common chronic health conditions including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Maternity: Prenatal and Postpartum Care
- Support Services
Behavioral Health practitioners are encouraged to use the toolkit when coordinating care and addressing specific health needs with members. Through the toolkit, practitioners have access to clinical practice guidelines, quality measures, screening and assessment tools, educational resources, conversation starters, integrated health treatment considerations, and much more.
“At Gateway Health, we are committed to ensuring our members achieve not just physical health, but whole life health,” said Regina Vercilla, Vice President, Clinical Strategy and Innovation, Gateway Health. “We are proud to support our behavioral health partners with our new toolkit and provide them with the additional resources needed to help our members live a healthier life.”
According to research published in World Psychiatry, mental health and physical health are connected and individuals living with SMI have a higher risk of developing chronic physical conditions. Having a chronic physical health condition can also increase the likelihood of having or developing a mental health condition. This may be due to hospitalization or reduced mobility resulting in isolation, excessive worry about managing a chronic health condition, chemical and hormonal changes, and inflammation from long-term stress. These conditions can diminish quality of life and lead to poor health outcomes.
“Gateway Health’s toolkit for Behavioral Health providers is an innovative mechanism to rapidly connect behavioral health practitioners to useful information on physical health conditions,” said Debra Luther, PhD, Vice President, Clinical Services, Beacon Health Options of Pennsylvania. “We are optimistic that this resource will have a positive impact on our members’ overall wellbeing and behavioral health outcomes.”
Gateway Health has served the most vulnerable population for nearly 30 years. Through its leading Medicaid and Medicare programs, Gateway Health is coordinating health care that goes beyond doctors and medicine to deliver whole person care to the communities it serves. In addition to physical health, Gateway Health addresses behavioral health and socioeconomic challenges for more than 355,000 members across Pennsylvania.
Learn more about Gateway Health’s Behavioral Health Provider Toolkit.