News Advisory: Statewide Conference on Integrated Health Care
September 5, 2008
WHEN: September 8 – 9, 2008
WHERE: Hyatt Regency
208 Barton Springs Road, Austin, 78704
DETAILS: Agenda program is attached. Individual interviews available on request.
Merrell Foote, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, 415-0408 (cell), 471-9142 (office)
Alicia Sankar, People's Community Clinic, 657-6733 (cell)
BACKGROUND: More than 500 stakeholders in health care will gather at the Hyatt Regency in Austin on Sept. 8 and 9 to discuss bringing to Texas an emerging national movement to improve people's health by treating physical and behavioral illnesses together.
The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health is sponsoring Integrated Health: Connecting Body and Mind to share the knowledge and experience of more than 50 national, state and local physical and behavioral health care experts, providers and consumers with experience in systematically coordinating physical and behavioral health care.
There's no question that a person's physical and behavioral health are linked. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease often are accompanied by behavioral ailments such as depression or anxiety. In addition, studies have shown that people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder die an average of 25 years earlier than people without these disorders, largely due to challenges and obstacles in receiving adequate medical treatment.
Integrated health is beginning to be recognized in Texas as a viable and beneficial way to improve physical and behavioral health. Yet most health care provider systems, insurance plans and public policies are designed to treat a person's body and mind separately. Barriers to integration exist in financial, clinical, organizational and policy processes and systems related to health care.
This conference will address three key issues:
- Best practices in integrated health care and how providers in Texas and other states are using them.
- The benefits of integrating health care for Texas consumers, providers, employers and insurers.
- Next steps that stakeholders and communities can take to promote integrated health care in Texas.
Clinics in Central Texas that have adopted integrated health care models include People's Community Clinic of Austin, Lone Star Circle of Care in Georgetown and a partnership between Travis County Healthcare District and Austin Travis County Integral Care.