(Oconomowoc, Wis.) During the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA) recently held in Madison, Wis., key members of the staff at Rogers Memorial Hospital played a leading role. Among those attending were Patrick T. Hammer, MSA, president and chief executive officer of Rogers Behavioral Health System; William Henricks, MBA, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Rogers Partners in Behavioral Health; and Jerry Halverson, M.D., FAPA, Rogers’ medical director of adult services. Entitled “Looking Forward: The Future of Psychiatric Practice,” the conference offered an overview of the industry and the role of psychiatrists in integrative medicine.
Dr. Halverson Introduced as President-Elect
As part of the WPA’s business meeting at the conference, Joe Layde, M.D., the current WPA president, recognized Dr. Halverson as the WPA’s new president elect. Dr. Halverson, who is also a member of the Wisconsin Medical Society, will begin his two-year term in May and brings a thorough understanding of how psychiatry is changing and will be integrated in all walks of medicine through shared electronic medical records. He was recently the only physician invited to testify before the Wisconsin Task Force on Mental Health.
Hammer and Henricks Among the Presenters
Jointly sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association, the WPA conference offered a roster of well-recognized colleagues who addressed the topic of medical integration. Hammer and Henricks were among the prestigious faculty, presenting “The Future of the Business of Psychiatry.”
As representatives for Wisconsin’s largest provider of mental health services, Hammer and Henricks identified primary factors impacting the business of psychiatry, discussed how to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction while reducing costs, and recommended ways to ensure successful healthcare reform with psychiatry playing a key role in the mix. Hammer focused on the big picture of healthcare, while Henricks presented the opportunities to develop services and ways in which psychiatrists can assist healthcare organizations.
According to Hammer, change is inevitable given the current efforts to reform healthcare and insurance, reduce the deficit and Medicare/Medicaid benefits, as well as politics of the 2012 election. “Psychiatrists who succeed in the ‘triple aim’ strategic initiative of healthcare reform will be required to integrate with other medical professionals and organizations,” he said. “With increased demand for services, psychiatrists will need to utilize information technology and multidisciplinary team members to improve access to care. This ‘triple aim’ in healthcare means that healthcare providers must focus on increasing quality, decreasing costs and improving clinical outcomes.”
“Full implementation of healthcare reforms, new technologies and consolidation of providers will reshape the healthcare landscape in Wisconsin over the next three years,” Hammer concluded. “To thrive, psychiatrists must remain vigilant to new challenges and opportunities to provide increasing value and successfully participate in managing the health of populations.”
Henricks explained how behavioral health can fit in to this scenario: “The very ill constitute about 10 percent of the population but account for about 55 percent of today’s healthcare costs. If we manage the behavioral health needs of that population effectively, we will have a significant reduction in overall costs. Care for the rest of the population should focus on prevention, early illness detection and a focus on living healthy lifestyles. Behavioral health can play a key role in making a difference on all levels. In fact, a growing number of people believe that appropriately implementing behavioral health throughout the healthcare continuum is one of the key ingredients to successful healthcare reform.”