The Health Economics Case for Continuous Behavioral Health Measurement

Like any new health technology, continuous behavioral health measurement (CBHM) must economically justify its place among the growing options for measuring therapy and care outcomes. At Ksana Health, we think a lot about this economic justification and its relationship to better outcomes for more people. We believe that CBHM positively impacts health system economics through at least 4 mechanisms.

  1. Reduced service cost of primary care, emergency care, hospitalization, and hospital services resulting from better early detection, intervention, and care coordination. This reserves resources for healthcare investments with better population returns.
  2. Richer real-world distress detection, allowing more effective stratification of care. This results in better service productivity and more costly services being reserved for more distressed service users.
  3. Reduced appointment revenue loss because of: a) facilitating enhanced and more effective virtual care, b) stronger therapeutic alliances, c) optimized intervention selection and therapy plans.
  4. Improved therapy adherence through timely nudges and interventions in response to predictive behavioral indicators

These four areas are a universal concern to healthcare systems, providers, and service users. CBHM offers a solution for these health economic deficits.

Three Solutions CBHM Offers to Healthcare

CBHM adds value across the care value chain by enhancing prevention through early detection, improving adherence through continuous timely nudges and support, and optimizing intervention use from nutrition & movement to psychoeducation to individual or group social support to face-to-face psychotherapy and medication.

As to prevention, imagine more people staying healthier, more self-aware and better equipped to act on changes in their mood level of wellness through continuous measurement and feedback on changes in their behavior.  Here the famous quote, “a stitch in time saves nine” is applicable to an emergent prevention-focused care paradigm. As the access to prevention quality of care is increased, per capita care cost is reduced.

As to adherence, imagine more people regaining health as they are nudged and supported more effectively throughout the course of their treatment journey. We know how challenging adherence is and how it is improved with timely intervention and support. Why not leverage smartphones, a constant companion, to play this important role? As adherence improves, care quality and costs improve as the full benefit of therapeutic interventions is enjoyed by a greater number of users.

As to optimized intervention, imagine wasted resources from service user under-assessment being reduced. CBHM enables this by expanding measurement beyond intermittent, untimely, and self-reported measurement tools. Under-assessment too often results in expensive, less effective therapies, like prescription drugs being prescribed, when less costly evidence-based therapeutic approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be enhanced with technology to deliver better and more sustainable outcomes. As therapeutic approaches and interventions are better optimized, care access, quality, and costs are improved. Additionally, the understanding of which combinations of interventions work better across varied situations creates a continuously learning and more effective service organization.

This approach to prevention, adherence, and optimization will become more critical as value-based reimbursement gains traction and the service organization’s revenue is based on measured value-based outcomes, more than activity.

If you are in charge of improving health and economic outcomes in a healthcare provider or payor organization, and interested in how CBHM can improve your patient outcomes and service productivity, take a look at our whitepaper, An Introduction to Continuous Behavioral Health Measurement and schedule a demonstration. We would love to collaborate in improving your outcomes.

Craig DeLarge

5 October 2022

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