142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Behavioral health access in Louisiana: Transforming community health systems for health equity

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 9:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Elisabeth Gentry, LMSW, MPH , Division of Evaluation and Research, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Jonathan Perry, BS , Division of Health Systems, Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
Heather Farb, MPH , Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, LA
According to a 2005 SAMHSA survey, 5.7 million adults in the US reported an unmet need for mental health services, citing barriers such as lack of access to primary care providers, lack of practitioners in rural and urban areas, and lack of payment for care coordination with supportive services.  These barriers disproportionately impact vulnerable populations, particularly those who are uninsured or on Medicaid.  In 2014 health inequities persist in southeast Louisiana and lead to higher healthcare costs due to over-utilization of Emergency Departments and law enforcement resources, and decreased quality of life for individuals and their families.

In order to combat these barriers, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) is engaged in transforming two geographically and demographically different safety-net behavioral health systems in Louisiana to increase access along the continuum of care.  Each system is led by a trans-disciplinary collaborative including health providers, law enforcement, and the school system, among others.  Howerver, there are noteworthy differences between the two communities and their approach to behavioral healthcare.  In order to understand these differences and drive redesign efforts, LPHI used a mixed methods approach to assess the current state of each health system.  Data from clinic capacity assessments, key informant interviews, quantitative patient data, and GIS mapping were analyzed, and will be presented to illustrate the cases for each re-design process.  This presentation will discuss the re-design approaches and share challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations for improving similar health systems to ensure equal access to quality care regardless of where you live.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Explain some of the similarities and differences between behavioral health systems in two demographically and geographically different neighboring communities in Louisiana. Compare and contrast the unique challenges faced when transforming these systems to improve access, quality, and sustainability. Discuss strategies to overcome these challenges through collaboration and partnerships.

Keyword(s): Health Systems Transformation, Mental Health System

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I manage a three-year grant program to implement innovative solutions by improving the delivery of integrated behavioral health, primary care, and social services at both the clinic and systems levels. Additionally, I conduct health systems assessments for various projects along the Gulf Coast to improve primary care and behavioral health capacity to serve the under-insured, uninsured, and Medicaid populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.