DENVER, Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- myStrength, Inc., an innovative leader in digital behavioral health
Mental illnesses are considered the costliest health care conditions,1 exceeding the costs of diabetes, respiratory disorders, and cancer – combined.2 To help address this, myStrength partnered with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Missouri Foundation for Health as well as an independent analytics firm to analyze the impact of technology on Medicaid health care claims costs, both physical and behavioral, over a two-year period.
Nearly 859,000 people in the state of Missouri experienced some form of mental illness in 2014, yet 55% of those did not receive treatment. Approximately 419,000 people in Missouri struggled with a substance use disorder in 2016, with 84% not receiving treatment. The result of this treatment gap is an estimated $250 million annual cost burden in direct medical costs of untreated substance use disorders and mental health, just in 2016.
Since 2016, the Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare has partnered with myStrength to dramatically increase access to mental health services throughout the state. Thanks to a generous grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health, 25 community behavioral health providers with more than 150 facilities throughout Missouri have access to myStrength's evidence-based web- and mobile-based resources. These applications complement the mental health and addictions treatment, primary care, and prevention services already offered by the state's community behavioral health providers to more than 250,000 adults, children and families statewide.
About the Study Ongoing evaluation of outcomes improvement and cost reductions was critical to the launch of myStrength across the state of Missouri. To evaluate the economic impact, several parties including the Missouri Department of Mental Health, engaged in a unique claims analysis. The pioneering, comprehensive study demonstrates digital behavioral health care's ROI and quantifies its per person average annual cost savings segmented by physical and behavioral health care, in addition to the impact of evidence-based technology solutions on total adjudicated claims. Spanning two years, the study compared Medicaid claims among more than 1,500 individuals and facilitated access to myStrength across 25 Missouri community mental health centers to help clients address a wide variety of behavioral health and substance use concerns.
Results Results of the statewide evaluation, just published in the Journal of Medical Economics, tell a conclusive story about the economic value of bringing myStrength to the state of Missouri. Augmenting behavioral health offerings to include digital behavioral self-care tools is proven to generate positive ROI via reduced total cost of care.
"The evaluation shows a conservative estimate of nearly $5 in direct medical cost savings for every dollar spent on the myStrength initiative. Medicaid costs were $382/year lower for each myStrength user than for non-users – with about 75% of the savings coming from high-cost, avoidable care like ER visits and inpatient admissions, and the other 25% from reduced outpatient and therapy expenditures," explained methodologist Sese Abhulimen, Managing Director of Propensity4, the unaffiliated advanced analytics firm that conducted the evaluation.
"myStrength's digital platform is a force multiplier, augmenting face-to-face clinical interactions by delivering evidence-based resources packaged within an empowering self-care solution," noted Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director for the National Council for Behavioral Health. "Multi-channel and multi-touch behavioral health care is necessary to drive real change. myStrength has created real value in Missouri, as evidenced by this study."
myStrength users also shared their positive experiences. "It has been motivating, inspiring, relaxing, and relieving to know I'm not alone. I recommend it to everyone I know," shared one myStrength user (name withheld to protect confidentiality). Says another, "There is always a helpful suggestion to get me through the rough patches. I love the variety of choices I have to choose from."
"We are striving to build a 21st century behavioral health solution that empowers individuals, increases access to care and, at the same time, is economically efficient," explained Abigail Hirsch, PhD, myStrength's Chief Clinical Officer and co-author of the study. "The results we are seeing in Missouri underscore the potency of our approach."
Register for Webinar to Learn More For an expert discussion on the study results, join the Thursday, Sept. 20, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT webinar to hear from Natalie Cook, MS, Manager of Integrated Care, Missouri Department of Mental Health; Dr. Joe Parks, Medical Director, National Council for Behavioral Health; and Abigail Hirsch, PhD, Chief Clinical Officer, myStrength. This webinar will highlight the study methodology, key findings, and how digital tools can be effectively and cost-efficiently integrated within any care model.
Or, to request a demo or learn more about myStrength, please contact us at http://www.mystrength.com/contact
About myStrength: myStrength, Inc. is a recognized leader in digital behavioral health care. myStrength greatly enhances traditional care models, while addressing issues of cost, lack of access, and stigma, to deliver mental health and well-being resources at scale. Our platform targets the most prevalent and costly behavioral health conditions ? empowering consumers with innovative self-care resources to manage and overcome challenges with depression, anxiety, stress, substance use disorders, chronic pain and sleep. myStrength's evidence-based resources offer digital interactive exercises, self-care modules and daily wellness inspiration, which is personalized to each individual. myStrength collaborates with more than 100 health plans, integrated health systems, EAPs, disease management providers, managed and community behavioral health providers, strategic alliances, ACOs and FQHCs.
1 Roehrig, C. (2016, June). Mental Disorders Top the List of the Most Costly Conditions in the US: $201B. Retrieved from URL https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/pdf/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1659 2 Insel, T. (2015, May). Mental Health Awareness Month: By the Numbers. Retrieved from URL https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/directors/thomas-insel/blog/2015/mental-health-awareness-month-by-the-numbers.shtml
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