MDNews - Mid Penn

CEO Edition 2018

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ROBUST ACCESS TO BEHAVIOR AL HE ALTH SERVICES IN THE PRIMARY CARE SE T TING AND CONSTRUCTION OF A NE W HOSPITAL HAVE POSITIONED PENN MEDICINE L ANCA STER GENER AL HE ALTH šLG HE ALTH› TO MEE T THE GROWING BEHAVIOR AL HE ALTH NEEDS OF THE COMMUNIT Y. In Office and Online Annual depression screenings have been instituted at all Lancaster General Health (LG Health) primary care locations. In addition, LG Health utilizes mobile apps with mental health assessments that can be submitted online. B E H A V I O R A L H E A LT H ❰❰❰❰❰ 0 5 Expands Behavioral Healthcare Access amid Rapidly Growing Need BY JOSH GARCIA M O R E T H A N 3 0 , 0 0 0 A D U LT S i n La nca ster Count y have a dia g nosed behavioral health condition, according to a recent community health assessment by LG Health. That, combined with a growing local population and wider recognition of the impact of mental health on physical health, has spurred LG Health to launch a multipronged expansion of behavioral health services. THEN AND NOW Historically, limited access to behavioral health services locally required many area patients to travel to Philadelphia or Baltimore for care. Others who might have benefited from day-treatment programs were instead treated in inpatient settings, notes Tracey Lavallias, DBA, MBA, MED, Executive Director of the Behaviora l Health Service Line at LG Health. To address that treatment gap, LG Health has embarked on an aggressive, wide-ranging initiative, a key component of which is ready access to behavioral health services countywide. "Our plan is to have licensed behavioral hea lth counselors and clinica l socia l workers available to patients in a ll of our 30 primary care locations," Lavallias says. "Those counselors will be integrated into the primary care teams of patients who need them. We wa nt behaviora l health to be a seamless part of care." This streamlining could have profound benefits in terms of patient outcomes and healthcare costs. A pilot program by LG Health revealed that patients who received short-term behaviora l hea lth counseling at pri- mary care sites saw a 50 percent reduc- tion in Emergency Department visits. In addition, more t h a n 8 0 p erc ent of pat ient s w it h a ccess to behav - ioral health resources at primary care locations actually utilized them, com- pared with only 50 percent who were referred elsewhere for those services. NEW HOME FOR CARE For patient s who requ i re a dva nced care, LG Hea lth, in partnership with Universal Health Services, is construct- ing the 126-bed, 76,000-squa re-foot Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital. It will house six behavioral health units, i nclud i ng t he cou nt y 's on ly a doles- cent unit. " We performed a dema nd a na lysis three years ago that found a significant increase in the number of adolescents arriving at our Emergency Department with behavioral health needs," Lavallias says. "We can better care for them at the new hospita l, and we're a lso working with local school systems to make sure students with behavioral health needs are identified and treated." Besides a general unit, other units at the hospital will help patients with dual diagnoses including secondary medical conditions or substance use disorder — an increasing problem associated with the opioid epidemic. Additiona l units will address women's trauma, intensive treatment needs a nd issues faced by older patients. A partial-hospitalization program and an intensive outpatient pro- gram are also slated for the new hospital, Lavallias adds. Equipped with amenities such as private exercise facilities and courtyards, units at Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital will begin opening throughout late summer and fall. The behavioral health unit at Lancaster General Hospital will remain in operation as patients transition to the new facility. Fo r a d ditio n al info r m atio n , v i s it l a n c a s t e r g e n e r a l h e a l t h . o r g a n d s e a rch " b e h a v i o ra l h e a lth ," o r c a l l 888-LGH-INFO. ■ Lancaster General Health M D N E W S . C O M /// M D N E W S M I D ž P E N N ■ 2 018 0 5

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