Call to apply an outcomes and value-based approach to mental health

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Unlike hip replacements or cataract surgery, treating mental health conditions can be open-ended – and assessing outcomes subjective. But now there is a push to develop standards and enable mental health to join the value-based healthcare revolution.

The time is now right for the value-based approach to healthcare pioneered by Harvard economist Michael Porter to be applied to mental health. Services should be integrated into a holistic healthcare model focusing on outcomes that matter to patients, says David Newton, co-founder of SunCloud Health, a mental health clinic modelled on Porter’s approach.

Value-based healthcare is reshaping hospital care and improving surgical outcomes but has been slow to catch on in psychiatry.

Measuring outcomes that matter to patients is at the heart of the value-based approach which has been dubbed the Strategy That Will Fix Health Care by its supporters. Newton, who studied under Porter, is calling for the silos between mental and physical wellbeing to be broken down.

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