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Aetna Behavioral Health National Clinical Director To Speak At Medical-Behavioral Healthcare Integration Conference


Golinkoff will discuss how mental health parity can lead to improved care for more people and a reduction in medical costs

HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that Michael Golinkoff, PhD, MBA, national clinical director for Aetna Behavioral Health, will speak on improving health outcomes through behavior change at the third annual Medical-Behavioral Healthcare Integration Conference April 29 in Chicago. The intention of the conference is to provide information to health plan decision makers preparing for the impact of the new mental health parity law.

Aetna is supportive of the mental health parity law, which requires group insurance plans to cover behavioral health care services the same way that they cover other medical services. Golinkoff will discuss how mental health parity can lead to improved care for more people and a reduction in medical costs.

“Behavioral health issues are a significant cost driver for medical costs,” Golinkoff said. “Removing the barriers many individuals face when seeking adequate behavioral health care can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Addressing physical and mental health holistically will lead to improved mental and physical health, increased worker productivity and reduced overall medical cost.”

Golinkoff will speak to the results of Aetna’s Medical/Psychiatric High Risk Case Management Program (Med Psych). The Med Psych program was developed to help members experiencing depression or other mental health issues who also have chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes or congestive heart failure. The purpose of the program is to provide integration and coordination of medical and behavioral health services. Med Psych case managers help members arrange for treatment with health care professionals, provide educational materials and work with treating providers in the development of a medical psychiatric case management plan.

Aetna’s analyses have shown members enrolled in the Med Psych program have lower medical costs compared to members who were not managed in this program. Enrolled members also had a self-reported improvement in quality of life as well as a reduction in work and social limitations. Aetna released the results of its first analysis in 2007. Since launching the Med Psych program, Aetna has implemented the program across its entire book of fully insured business. The results of a two year analysis through 2009 continue to demonstrate improved health outcomes and decreased medical cost.


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