New Video Highlights “One-Stop Home for Medical, Mental Health and Dental Care”
Mental Health Partners (MHP) is excited to share this press release by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) highlighting a new public service video that showcases the benefits of the Integrated Health Home (IHH) model by featuring the IHH that resides at MHP’s Ryan Wellness Center. The 7-minute video is appropriate for viewing by the public, legislators, and other healthcare systems interested in creating a similar integrated health model. Additionally, several shorter-length videos with focuses on the staff, clients, and community were also created.
One-Stop Home for Medical, Mental Health and Dental Care
The Integrated Health Home model offers a “no wrong door to health” approach to care
Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, access to necessary health services has been limited, causing reduced access across all healthcare services but especially disproportionately impacting access to oral health services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported a 69% drop in children receiving dental services during the months when stay-at-home orders were in effect compared to a 44% drop in mental health services and screening services. This “precipitous decline in services remains a cause for concern,” CMS noted.
Adults also experienced a similar, if not greater, drop in access to dental services due to the initial stay-at-home orders and the ongoing economic impacts of COVID. Approximately 500,000 more adults in Colorado are now eligible to enroll in Medicaid/Health First because of job loss and provisions within the Federal Public Health Emergency. Even though this insurance coverage can improve access to affordable healthcare services, Colorado’s clinical safety net needs more strategies to serve these growing needs and numbers of patients.
Fortunately, there are many strategies to address pent-up demands for preventing and treating oral diseases. One includes the Integrated Care Model, which includes medical, dental, and behavioral health services offered at one location using a whole-health approach. This model decreases barriers to care, such as the need for multiple trips to appointments and lack of coordination between healthcare providers, and often focus on ensuring preventive services, while addressing other health priorities. This decreases current and future health needs and the number of visits and cost for health care, including emergency visits.
Colorado has been a national leader in supporting whole-person health, especially in underserved communities, and integrated care models can be found ion safety net systems across the state. One such model takes place at an Integrated Health Home in Boulder, CO. This Integrated Health Home (IHH) is a unique partnership between Mental Health Partners, a behavioral health organization; Dental Aid, a nonprofit dental clinic, and Clinica Family Health, a federally qualified health center’s medical team.
A recent public service video funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) highlights this IHH and the benefits of this model. The 7-minute video is appropriate for viewing by the public, legislators, and other healthcare systems interested in creating a similar integrated health model. Additionally, several shorter-length videos with focuses on the staff, clients, and community were created to be distributed via social media and, possibly, in advertising.
“This IHH, and video, showcases how mental health, dental and medical systems can work together to provide whole health care for those who need it the most,” said Dr. Katya Mauritson, the State Dental Director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “The interprofessional approaches provide new insights to clinical partners on the benefits of integrating multiple health services and decreasing barriers to care. We need models like this now more than ever to better address the short and long-term health impacts of COVID-19 and to offer ‘no wrong door to health’ for our community.”
While the long-term impact of COVID-19 is not fully known, it is clear it is causing an increase in pent up health needs, with oral diseases being one of the top unmet needs. As this IHH video shows, prior to accessing services at the Integrated Health Home, 32% of patients visited an emergency department for health needs. After six months of integrated care, only 13% of patients accessed an emergency department for their health needs.
The Caring Colorado Foundation and The Colorado Health Foundation provided funding to include dental care through the SMILES Virtual Dental Home grant into Mental Health Partners’ Integrated Health Home model. Additionally, Phase II of Colorado’s Accountable Care Collaborative is supporting sustainability of this work.
The videos are available for viewing on CDPHE’s Oral Health section of its website and MHP’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbMggYOhWf4&feature=youtu.be. Note: these videos were developed before COVID-19 and do not reflect current infection control processes or safety precautions currently in place.
For more information on CDPHE’s oral health work, please visit: www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/categories/services-and-information/health/prevention-and-wellness/oral-health. For information about the Integrated Health Home, and other services offered by these partner organizations, visit: Mental Health Partners (www.mhpcolorado.org); Clinica Family Health (www.clinica.org); and Dental Aid (www.dentalaid.org).
Please read below for CDPHE’s full press release. You can view the videos here: