Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Refocusing on Behavior and Wellness

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Refocusing on Behavior and Wellness

Article excerpt

Over the past several years, the role of companies that provide managed behavioral healthcare has evolved and changed. Increasing attendon has been paid to people's overall health and well-being, and it has been recognized that in order to improve all healthcare quality, mental health and substance use services must be included. Additionally, the role of behavior in health improvement and management of chronic conditions has been fostered.

This trend has resulted in an Increased focus on care coordination, evidence-based practices, quality measurement and improvement, wellness programs that foster healthy behavior, and special programs related to managing and treating obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and other conditions.

Based upon behavioral health programs' expanding role, the American Managed Behavioral Healthcare Association (AMBHA) began to reexamine its scope of programs and activities. As a result, the association developed a new mission, vision, and name to reflect the changes taking place among its members and the industry. After several meetings and telephone calls, the AMBHA Board voted in October to change AMBHA to the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW).

ABHWs members cover more than 110 million insured lives and more than 20 million EAP lives. Members include Alliance Behavioral Care, College Health IPA/Comprehensive Behavioral Health Management, Magellan Health Services, MHN, Schaller Anderson Behavioral Health, United Behavioral Health, University Behavioral HealthCare, and VaIueOpdons. In 2007, ABHW will welcome Cenpatico Behavioral Health as its newest member, and other companies have expressed interest m becoming involved next year as ABHW expands into the wellness arena.

ABHW and its member companies' vision is to use their behavioral health expertise to improve healthcare outcomes for individuals and families across the healthcare spectrum. Our vision is of a healthcare system that:

* embodies the six aims of the Institute of Medicine's Crossing the Quality Chasm report (safety, patient-centeredness, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, and equity);

* recognizes the extensive impact behaviors have on a person's health, well-being, and functioning;

* acts to promote behavior that fosters wellness and healthy lifestyles;

* advances mental health and substance use treatment, acknowledging its interrelationship across systems of care and with a person's total health;

* promotes active consumer participation; and

* improves functional outcomes for individuals, organizations, and industries. …

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