PROVIDENCE, RI (June 11,
2020) – Blue
Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has awarded Newport
Mental Health (NMH) a Behavioral Health Quality Grant to
help the practice better anticipate patient needs and close gaps in care. The
$422,000 grant will help launch NMH’s new electronic health record (EHR)
program, including the addition of a population data analyst, to better analyze
emerging trends and problems, integrate multiple sources of data, and
prioritize goals for addressing those needs.
“Mental disorders are arguably the greatest ‘hidden’ burden
of ill health, with substantial long-term impacts on individuals, careers and
society. People with these conditions are often socially excluded and often do
not receive the services they need, and when they do, many do not receive
adequate follow-up,” said Jamie Lehane, Newport Mental Health president and
CEO. “Data science offers an unprecedented opportunity not only for more robust
diagnostics, but also the prediction of outcome, treatment response, and
patient preferences to inform interventions. Even slight improvements
on mental healthcare provision and management could generate solid
benefits to the health and life expectancy of people with mental illness and in
the reduction of healthcare costs”.
This support comes as part of BCBSRI’s
new Behavioral Health Quality Grant program, which was launched to assist
behavioral health providers in transitioning to a population health model that
includes elements like screening, progress tracking and outcomes reporting.
Recognizing the challenges in implementing effective population health
management and reporting strategies within a behavioral health practice, BCBSRI
is hoping to ease the transition for Rhode Island providers as part of the
company’s commitment to promoting access to high-quality, cost-effective
behavioral healthcare. Newport Mental Health is the first behavioral health
provider to receive a grant from the BCBSRI program.
“We are encouraged by Newport Mental Health’s proactive
approach in analyzing available data to discover what’s most effective when it
comes to behavioral healthcare treatments,” said Sarah Fleury, LICSW, CPHQ,
BCBSRI manager of behavioral health. “This type of value-based care and
collaboration improves patient care and reduces the burden on the healthcare
system, and we are proud to support it.”
Newport Mental Health is one of the
founders of Horizon Health Partners (HHP), a community-based,
statewide, comprehensive service network of non-profit mental health
organizations in Rhode Island. All of HHP will utilize the new EHR system, but
BCBSRI’s grant will additionally allow for NMH’s
combined analysis of aggregate data across HHP agencies and interoperability of
real time client information.
Data analytics from NMH’s new
initiative will be used to not only inform primary care and mental health
interventions, but also community interventions as they begin to better
understand patterns of chronic disease, social determinants of health, and
community resources and services. For example, NMH’s data could identify a high
prevalence of depression and poor eating habits among elderly women with
residential and social isolation. Equipped with that data, community planners
could then develop recreational and nutritional outreach programs.
In the future, the program has
implications far beyond the patient population served by NMH providers. HHP
partners have an additional 110 providers who plan to also utilize this
population health data to improve care coordination and better manage the needs
of a significant population of patients statewide.
To learn more about Newport Mental Health, please visit newportmentalhealth.org. To learn more
about how BCBSRI supports the behavioral health of Rhode Islanders, please