Debunking 4 Common Myths about Measurement-Based Care in Behavioral Health

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By Britta Nordstrom, Senior Marketing Specialist

Liz Jones

“MBC without shared collaboration is futile and, frankly, not MBC.”

Liz Jones – VP, Clinical Strategy

Measurement-based care (MBC) is an approach that emphasizes the standardized use of data and routine measurement tools to inform and guide the delivery of behavioral health care. The MBC process has been around for decades, but it is still significantly underutilized in the behavioral health space. Despite positive published evidence supporting its use, fewer than 20% of behavioral health clinicians integrate it into their practice because of implementation barriers and misinformation.  

In our recent webinar, Liz Jones (Vice President, Clinical Strategy) and Dr. Adam Ligas (Medical Director) discussed the barriers to adoption and dispelled many of the myths surrounding MBC.  

Common Measurement-Based Care Myths

  1. Completing assessments is a burden. 
    Many care providers perceive that the assessment and feedback informed care process as experienced negatively by patients, yet patient feedback is widely positive regarding assessments and MBC.

    “Providers aren’t going to engage fully in interventions where they don’t believe it’s going to benefit their client,” said Liz Jones. “And if they’re in a health care system that utilizes or forces MBC, lack of provider buy-in can lead to an ‘MBC-lite’ approach, where providers get the assessment completed but without the collaboration and feedback loop with the patient. MBC without shared collaboration is futile and, frankly, not MBC.”  

    The perspectives of providers and patients about MBC are integral to the fundamental adoption and continued expansion in the health care space. Improving the integration of MBC into the routine clinical practice can help both patients and providers understand and see the value of it. 
  2. Incorporating MBC creates administrative challenges.
    “The original implementation of MBC was pen and paper, which presented some challenges, but the evolution of technology today has significantly alleviated this burden,” said Dr. Ligas.

    Technology today decreases administrative burden as it becomes a part of treatment rather than an ancillary component. MBC tools can now be infused into clinical practice in a way that allows providers to obtain critical patient information effectively and efficiently. Many models, including Lucet’s, leverage EHR integrations so assessments can be delivered digitally to patients with treatment insights delivered to providers in their existing practice management and health record system. Providers can then leverage this information in a way that is elevating, escalating and aimed at improving patient outcomes.  
  3. Payers don’t have the infrastructure to scale MBC within their provider network.
    Payers face challenges in obtaining and enabling MBC data at scale, needing to be intentional and thoughtful. A significant challenge is the variability in provider models, adoption rates and the scales used. Payers can incentivize MBC adoption through structured payment models, but need to enable integrations and diverse data sharing strategies to ensure they can meet needs and capabilities across provider segments.

    Successful MBC implementation requires cross-functional collaboration among provider teams, quality assurance, consumer experience, clinical research, compliance, data analytics and robust technology infrastructure for data integration. This infrastructure can drive both short- and long-term improvements in patient outcomes and provider engagement. 
  4. MBC tools aren’t relevant across caseloads and don’t account for variation in clinical presentation.
    Providers need a clear understanding of MBC tools, their benefits and their limitations. Assessing a patient’s overall acuity, including symptom severity and functionality, is crucial. This comprehensive view informs treatment plans to improve both how patients feel and function.  

    “A complementary set of MBC tools is needed to capture the full spectrum of patient severity across various diagnoses, ages and functional levels, including comorbidities,” said Dr. Ligas.

    Patients often present with issues across multiple domains, and MBC tools which address whole-person, global acuity and distress help assess and address these domains, driving meaningful treatment improvements. 
Adam Ligas, MD

“A complementary set of MBC tools is needed to capture the full spectrum of patient severity across various diagnoses, ages and functional levels, including comorbidities.”

Adam Ligas, MD – Medical Director

How can we eliminate barriers to MBC adoption?

Lucet’s platform addresses MBC hesitancy by providing real-time reports, trends and alerts that are shown in a user-friendly patient dashboard. This alleviates the traditional burden of completing assessments and allows for seamless implementation through electronic health record integrations.  

Lucet’s Behavioral Health Index (BHI®), paired with data from our suite of MBC tools built around on-going assessments, informs a provider’s treatment options without replacing clinical judgement. It provides an overall severity score which can help guide a comprehensive, humanistic picture of patient progress and help inform shared collaboration and treatment planning. These mitigations increase cost savings by delivering reliable and valid indicators of acuity to providers, resulting in better patient outcomes. 

Stay tuned for more Lucet Webinars with our experts and valued partners. 

Liz Jones is vice president of clinical strategy, Dr. Adam Ligas is a medical director, and Britta Nordstrom is a senior marketing specialist at Lucet, The Behavioral Health Optimization Company.

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