Dave Kishler
614.764.0143, Ext. 7252


Rethinking Healthcare Integration

Netsmart Advocates Bi-Directional Integration of Behavioral and Physical Healthcare to Treat the Whole Person

Las Vegas, Nev., April 9, 2013 – Does healthcare need a complete rethink on the integration of care for the body and mind?

Up to 70 percent of primary care visits in the U.S. involve related behavioral health issues and, according to a study by National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, three out of five people with serious mental illness die due to a preventable health condition. Aggregate Medicaid claims data from a major healthcare insurance provider showed that based on a historical pharmacy-based risk model, the top five percent riskiest members who had at least one behavioral health condition accounted for 78.9% of that subgroup’s costs, and the top 25% account for 98.4% of costs. 

“These kind of statistics should be eye-opening to all care providers, from both clinical care and cost-of-services perspectives,” says Michael Valentine, chief executive officer, Netsmart, the leading provider of clinical solutions for health and human services organizations.

Valentine, commenting at the 2013 National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Conference in Las Vegas, says the traditional mode of thought has been that behavioral health providers must bear the burden alone and offer primary care services in their environments.

“Integrated care is happening successfully in some cases due largely to proactive mental health executives who want to address this services gap, but it is a single-dimensional approach that requires some of the most underfunded organizations in the country to lift the load for everyone,” said Valentine. “Just as our clients have taken the initiative to provide primary care services in their operations, so must primary care providers make a concerted effort to offer care for more than just the body. Healthcare providers of all types must focus on co-location and expansion of integrated care." Valentine cited the value of integrated care for improving outcomes, reducing symptom severity, improving treatment response times and reducing remissions and hospital readmissions.

Innovation and Accessibility to Care Drives Integration

Innovative developments in areas such as telehealth are helping reframe thinking about traditional healthcare and opening the door to incorporate bi-directional care. Telehealth provides people with quick and convenient access to both primary and behavioral services in a model that increases accessibility to services and drastically reduces costs.

As an example, included in the Netsmart exhibit at the National Council conference in Las Vegas is a HealthSpot™ Station, a private, walk-in kiosk with the potential to offer integrated care with integrated medical devices and staffed by a medical attendant and/or behavioral healthcare providers. Consumers connect to care givers over high-definition videoconference. The HealthSpot Station can be placed in a variety of locations, including retail pharmacies, urgent care centers, nursing homes, community centers and rural areas, to provide a private, secure area where consumers can speak directly via online to a caregiver in a primary care or behavioral health center. “We wanted to demonstrate this capability at our National Council presence to fuel the ‘rethink’ that we believe will be a necessary part of the evolution that our clients face as they participate in the shaping of new care models driven by healthcare reform.”

Integrated Technology Solutions Facilitate Bi-Directional, Coordinated Care

Netsmart provides the vision and solutions needed for providers to move aggressively toward an integrated, bi-directional services model. The company’s CareFabric™ framework of clinical and business solutions supports integrated, coordinated delivery of health services across the spectrum of care.

CareManager™, a key thread of CareFabric, facilitates integrated, bi-directional care between two or more organizations to efficiently and safely coordinate care delivery. CareManager addresses the increasing need to coordinate care across the full spectrum of providers and treat consumer populations in systems of care such as health homes.

CareConnect™, another component of CareFabric, further extends connectivity and secure data exchange to Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and other multi-modal entities that are fast becoming de facto elements in the care process.

myHealthPointe™, a consumer platform which empowers a person-centric approach that integrates caregivers, providers, education and communication tools including telehealth capabilities.  This platform enables technology, like HealthSpot, to create a continuous engagement with consumers in their journey for recovery.

“As providers, we must embrace the reality of an integrated healthcare environment, including the need for the bi-directional delivery of behavioral and physical care services,” said Mary Ruiz, president and chief executive officer, Manatee Glens, a Bradenton, Fla.-based provider of hospital and outpatient mental health and addiction services. “Netsmart’s visionary leadership in this and other areas is in synch with our organization’s strategic approach of constantly looking ahead for ways we can better serve our consumers.”

About Netsmart

Netsmart is committed to helping health and human services providers deliver effective, recovery-based care with Netsmart CareFabric™, a tightly woven framework of innovative clinical and business solutions and services that supports integrated, coordinated delivery of health services across the spectrum of care.

More than 22,000 client organizations, including 350,000 care providers and more than 40 state systems use Netsmart products to help improve the quality of life for tens of millions of people each year. Netsmart clients include mental health and substance use treatment agencies, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health practices, public health departments, social services and child and family health agencies, vital records offices, and managed care organizations.

Netsmart is pleased to support the EveryDay Matters Foundation, which was established for behavioral and public health organizations to learn from each other and share their causes and stories. Organizations can also request grants for their cause or to help fund technology that advances the way care is delivered. For more information, visit

Learn more about how Netsmart and CareFabric are changing the face of healthcare today. Visit, call 1-800-472-5509, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or visit us on YouTube.

The HealthSpot and HealthSpot Station names and logos are trademarks of HealthSpot, Inc.
CareFabric, CareManager, CareConnect and myHealthPointe are trademarks of Netsmart Technologies, Inc.

# # # END OF RELEASE # # #

Share this news release