The State of Behavioral Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/28 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Dr. Reena Pande (@reena_pande) from @AbleTo_Health on the topic “The State of Behavioral Healthcare”.

It’s not breaking news that over the past few years behavioral health has become a key strategic focus across the health care sector and beyond. Several key trends help us understand why:

  • Realizing value: As payers and providers assume a greater burden of the total cost risk of populations, they have come to understand that they can’t succeed without a comprehensive strategy that includes behavioral health. Given that comorbid behavioral health issues drive significant, avoidable, total medical expense, behavioral health is an obvious target.
  • Moving to holistic, integrated care: Patients are not just the sum of their parts. We can all agree that we must continue to move towards better integration of physical and mental health, and all other aspects of health for that matter.
  • Point solution fatigue: Excitement about behavioral health has driven an abundance of investment dollars in the space and an explosion of digital and tech-enabled solutions. Payers are understandably struggling to figure it all out. Increasingly, our role as experts will be to marry the pieces within behavioral health and bring integrated solutions to our clients and partners.
  • Outcomes—they matter: Saying you can make patients better is not the same as proving you can make patients better. Given the dollars at stake, payers and providers are right to place growing scrutiny on execution and outcomes. Value starts with good clinical care, and good clinical care starts with evidence.

With so much happening in behavioral health, from acquisitions to innovative new technologies and a growing body of research pushing the entire field forward, it’s a very exciting time for the space. Increased public awareness around mental health and the accelerated rate of technological innovation should inspire hope in the progress being made to overcome the current barriers – like care shortages, access and cost – preventing millions from accessing behavioral health treatment. So, where does the industry currently stand with meeting the behavioral health care need?

In this week’s #HITsm chat, we’ll discuss the progress that’s been made thus far with meeting the behavioral health care need, as well as highlight the work that still needs to be done and how we can get there together.

Related Resource:

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat on the following topics.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:

T1: What progress has been made thus far with meeting the behavioral health care need? #HITsm

T2: What are the challenges that still need to be overcome/addressed to effectively meet the behavioral health care need? #HITsm

T3: What is the definition of value when it comes to behavioral health? #HITsm

T4: Why is the underutilization of measurement-based care in behavioral health care a problem? #HITsm

T5: How can the intersection of humanity and technology be used to meet the behavioral health need? #HITsm

Bonus: What is the downside of the pressures facing health care innovators in the race to get behavioral health care solutions to market? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
7/5 – 4th of July Break

7/12 – Challenges and Triumphs of the Independent Practice
Hosted by Amanda Hansen from @AdvancedMD

7/19 – TBD
Hosted by @Intersystems

7/26 – Helping Consumers/Patients Learn More About Healthcare IT
Hosted by Lisa Savis-Budzinski (@lisadbudzinski) and Becky Brandt (@bbhomebody)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Perhaps not surprisingly, mergers and acquisitions activity for behavioral health service providers continues to rise as investors see extraordinary growth opportunities in the sector. Right now, the most sought after segment in BH is autism services, which, from a valuation perspective, is generating multiples as high as 13-15 x, even for smaller providers with revenues under $10M.

    This activity has, in turn, spike acquisition interest in behavioral health digital health technologies, notably segment specific EMRs and patient facing telepsychiatry and mental health wellness apps. Investors targeting technology get all the “lift” from the burgeoning increase in the space, without being exposed to the myriad reimbursement issues that can disrupt a sector.

  • That’s some fascinating information. Thanks for sharing Dexter. Do you see the consolidation as a good thing for behavioral health or a bad one?

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