Behavioral health specialty programs are a core component to ensuring the overall health of patient populations and access to critical mental health treatment. And research has pointed to
the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of behavioral health integration into primary care.
But providers who deliver essential mental health support and treatment are facing an increasingly complicated environment of behavioral health needs:
Over the past 10 years, hospitalizations for persons with mental health disorders have increased faster than hospitalizations for any other condition while the number of psychiatric hospital beds have decreased. There is increasing pressure to identify and prevent avoidable ED and inpatient stays for mental illnesses by adequetly managing risk and disease progression through outpatient care.
 Trends in Emergency Department Visits Involving Mental and Substance Use Disorders, 2006–2013. Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D., Marguerite L. Barrett, M.S., Kevin C. Heslin, Ph.D., and Carol Stocks, Ph.D., R.N.; Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, December 2016. Statistical Brief #216.