How we Disrupt Behavioral Health

Confession from a strategy guy: terms like ‘disruption’ and ‘innovation’ are losing their luster. But I’d argue that when used in the right circumstance, they are the perfect words.

A few months ago my company declared that we were going to ‘disrupt behavioral (aka mental) health.’ So what did we mean? What about the mental health system needed to be disrupted (and why did we claim we could deliver)?

Today is the start of NatCon 2017, one of the biggest weeks of innovation in our industry, and a great time to share our road map.

I’ll start with a comparison that many in health care will remember from about 15 years ago. Disease management was coined as a term by companies like Healthways and Health Dialog to curb the costs of high risk/cost chronic patients. These programs were designed to help patients better manage their care and typically focused on symptom management associated with the patient’s medical condition. While cost effective, it is clear now that co-morbid mental health conditions not only drive risk, but they create disproportionate medical spend and are often the root cause of this increased utilization and healthcare spend.