Pandemic Illuminates Need for Mental Health Care Reforms

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Psych Hub is creating “provider ratings.” A Psych Hub representative tells AIS Health that the company is instead “working to identify universal quality outcome measures.” This version has been corrected to clarify that distinction.

With unmeasurable stress and trauma caused by the pandemic, the U.S.’s longstanding shortage of behavioral health care has become an acute crisis — making improvements to the way treatment is paid for a more urgent issue than ever. Fortunately, new trends in quality measures, network design and reimbursement could help the health insurance industry improve access and affordability for behavioral health care to members.

“Clearly, I think there’s been a crisis forming and building throughout COVID, and this crisis on mental health isn’t going to go away,” says Ashraf Shehata, national sector leader for health care and life sciences at KPMG. He draws a contrast between the disruption caused to physical medicine by the pandemic and what has happened with behavioral health care.

© 2021 MMIT

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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