Currently, the U.S. healthcare system spends billions of dollars every year on creating awareness around medical services and bringing in new patients. Once patients do come in, the healthcare system strives to ensure they are treated with the best care possible so that patients aren’t re-admitted, missing any future appointments, or struggling to adhere to their medication and treatment plans.
In addition to physical care, healthcare systems need to also address the rise of mental illnesses to achieve patients' overall well-being. Addressing mental health issues is essential because other physical health issues rise if it goes untreated. For example, patients are more likely to skip appointments, medication, or treatment plans, consequently resulting in more treatment, follow-ups, and expensive care.
The cost of acquiring a new patient
It is becoming increasingly expensive for the healthcare systems to bring in new patients as healthcare providers spent upwards of $10 billion on advertising in 2017. This report further projects that healthcare organizations’ spending on ads will continue to grow at about 1.8% each year, reaching $11.56 billion by 2021. This is why providers must find new ways to create awareness of their services and ensure optimal care.
The cost of re-admitting a patient
Hospital readmissions are a leading healthcare concern, both in terms of implications for the quality of care provided to hospitalized patients and the healthcare costs associated with readmissions. While some readmissions, such as for cancer and other related treatment, are expected and planned, many others are not.
In 2018, there were 3.8 million readmissions, of which Medicare accounted for 60.3% (2.3 million) and Medicaid accounted for 19.0% (721,300). The overall readmission rate was 14 per 100 index admissions, with Medicare leading the readmission rate at 16.9% while privately insured stays had the lowest readmission rate at 8.7%. The average readmission cost alone was $15,200.
The cost of missed appointments
"No-shows", where patients miss their scheduled appointments, are another economic concern of the healthcare systems. One study found that “no-shows” cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $150 billion a year and individual physicians an average of $200 per unused time slot.
Regardless of whether patients show up to their appointments, the healthcare systems and medical practices will still need to pay their staff and cover expenses like office rent and medical equipment.
The cost of medication non-adherence
Medication nonadherence is a significant public health consideration, affecting health outcomes and overall health care costs. When patients fail to adhere to their necessary medication treatments their overall recovery process worsens, especially when mental health issues are involved.
A review in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that medication nonadherence causes nearly 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations, costing the already strained healthcare system $100–$289 billion a year.
The cost of mental health care
In addition to the ever-increasing cost of acquiring new patients, ensuring they are appropriately treated and stay on track, the healthcare systems also have to address mental health issues. As mental health worsens, the cost associated with diagnosing and treating it rises.
For example, $71 billion is spent on treating depressive disorders—the most costly among mental health and substance abuse disorders.
Mood disorders are also associated with relatively high readmission rates, further taxing the healthcare systems. It is found that within 30 days, 15% of patients with mood disorders are readmitted nationally, and the average cost for a repeated hospital stay is approximately $7,200.
The cost of physical health issues
Not treating behavioral health conditions can lead to other health care costs, such as the costs of emergency care for an overdose.
Plus, mental health issues are directly tied to increasing serious physical ailments such as heart attacks and strokes. Depression, in particular, is directly tied to chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. In 2016, the total costs in the U.S. for direct health care treatment for chronic health conditions totaled an astronomical $1.1 trillion—equivalent to nearly 6% of the nation's GDP.
Mental Health Care with Tess for Healthcare Providers
This is where Tess comes in. The mission of Tess is to support healthcare systems and their patients in their journey to achieve optimal health.
Tess is a scientifically proven artificial intelligent program that utilizes text messaging to assist patients with mental health coaching, timely resources, and appointment and treatment reminders.
Tess empowers providers to differentiate their services and reach new patients in an affordable and scalable manner. The engine also works with healthcare systems' current setups to continue engaging patients as they leave and go home to ensure adherence to medication and treatment plans.
Providers can also use Tess to promote new services and resources for other health and overall well-being.
Healthcare systems that use Tess can ultimately drive down the cost of new patient acquisition, the amount of no-shows, and re-admissions while increasing patient adherence to medication and treatment plans.
With Tess, healthcare providers are able to:
- Differentiate themselves by increasing equitable access to a mental healthcare solution that is research-based, low-cost, personalized, scalable, and available 24/7.
- Promote Tess to thousands of people via digital ad campaigns with a phone number and a button click. No applications or account creation is required.
- Collect data on every new patient and their state of health.
- Reduce the amount of “no-shows” with timely reminders.
- Reduce readmissions by extending support beyond in-person care.
- Increase adherence to medication and overall treatment plans.
- Increase customer engagement and promote overall well-being by triaging specific resources and programs at the right moments.
- Scale mental health support by tapping into Tess’ 5,000 certified counselors network available on-demand in all 50 states.
- Track impact, tailor customer care and better align resources by reviewing customer data collected via health assessment intakes and engagement metrics.
A Proven Solution
Covering over 30 million people globally, Tess has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety by 18% and depression by 28%, leading to a profound impact on overall health.