Intermountain is collaborating with community partners across the system to help uninsured and underserved patients access the behavioral health resources they need through a service called the Behavioral Health Network. The goal of the network is to help uninsured patients with behavioral health concerns get an appointment for affordable services within seven days.
Many people with behavioral health issues lack adequate insurance and income and may not have access to the consistent care they need. When they’re in a crisis, they need help right away. That’s why the Behavioral Health Network has brought together community organizations such as local mental health authorities, community health centers, and community-based not-for-profit organizations. This collaboration has paved the way for these organizations to better provide services to patients who need help.
“The network provides care for more than 8,000 patient visits annually,” said Lisa Nichols, Intermountain Community Benefit Director, who oversees the program. “Prior to the network, only 23 percent of uninsured patients discharged from an inpatient unit had a follow-up appointment within a week. Now over 80 percent receive care with seven days.”
The networks began at LDS Hospital about five years ago and are now operating in Sanpete, Sevier, Utah Valley, the Central Region, and Dixie. A network will be added in Cedar City later this year, and the Salt Lake-area network is expanding soon. Nichols said Intermountain hopes to have a network associated with all Intermountain hospitals by the end of 2019.