Adults who experience Serious Mental Illness die, on average, 25 years younger than the rest of the US population; primarily due to ineffectively managed chronic disease like diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or obesity.
In response to this alarming trend, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) begin their 10 by 10 wellness campaign to reduce this early mortality statistic by 10 years, over the next 10 years.
In 2008, Adult and Child Health conducted an internal audit to find that 78 percent of our adult consumers had a co-occurring mental illness and serious health concern. Adult and Child Health partnered with a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and was awarded a four-year SAMHSA grant to develop an integrated care program in our service line.
Since that project began, Adult and Child Health treated over 480 unique consumers with co-occurring serious mental illness and chronic disease through Heartfelt Health Alliance – our integrated care clinic.
Integrated care has saved countless lives through early identification of an unknown chronic disease, improvement management of known illnesses, and the adoption of major lifestyle changes like exercise, diet, and tobacco cessation.
Integrated care has saved significant tax dollars. Through a recent MDWise study, the per member per month cost of combined medical and behavioral health care dropped by roughly 70 percent among high cost individuals once they were engaged in integrated care services.