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Avea Solutions Blog

Behavioral Health Trends To Watch In 2020

Jan 17, 2020 2:22:01 PM / by The Avea Solutions Team

The Avea Solutions Team


A new decade has finally dawned, and behavioral health continues to advance. We’ve collected a variety of topics we believe will define the behavioral health landscape in 2020, with sources examining each one. Throughout 2020, we plan to expound on each of these topics ourselves, adding our expert opinions to the larger discussion. For now, consider this an introduction to what to expect in the coming year.

MAT (Medication-Assisted Treatment)

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

“Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including opioid treatment programs (OTPs), combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders.”

Addressing the Opioid Crisis in 2020

“The opioid crisis continues to be one of the worst public health crises that the United States has ever seen. Opioids— mainly synthetic opioids (other than methadone)—are currently the main driver of drug overdose deaths. According to the CDC, opioids were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 or 67.8% of all drug overdose deaths. Approximately 2.1 million Americans live with opioid use disorder.”


Outcomes Measurement

Outcome measurement in mental health services: insights from symptom networks

“In mental health, outcomes are currently measured by changes of individual scores. However, such an analysis on individual scores does not take into account the interaction between symptoms, which could yield crucial information while investigating outcomes. Network analysis techniques can be used to routinely study these systems of interacting symptoms.”

Measuring Mental Health Outcomes

“With accountability pressures and growing concerns about quality of services, managers, practitioners, and system planners need resources to measure the outcomes of the services they provide and should be aware of the best efforts to measure client outcomes and services effectiveness.”


Bundling Services

Design and Impact of Bundled Payment for Detox and Follow-up Care

“Recent payment reforms promote movement from fee-for-service to alternative payment models that shift financial risk from payers to providers, incentivizing providers to manage patients’ utilization. Bundled payment . . . has been recommended as a way to pay for comprehensive SUD [substance use disorder] treatment and has the potential to improve treatment engagement after detox, which could reduce detox readmissions, improve health outcomes, and reduce medical care costs.”

Bundled payment for mental health care: a realist review

“Bundled payment is a single payment for all services related to a specific treatment or condition, possibly spanning multiple providers in multiple settings. Although not a new policy initiative, bundled payments have resurfaced in the current era of health care reform with its advocates arguing that it can curtail health care costs while simultaneously improving quality.”


Price Compression

Price Compression in the US Pharmaceutical Market: Options for Manufacturers, Payers, & Policymakers

“Compression of prices and profits will reduce potential funding for investments in R&D.”


Continuum of Care

Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Model

“The Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Model recognizes multiple opportunities for addressing behavioral health problems and disorders.”

Industry Voices—2020 should be the year we invest in mental health as health

“Medical providers will begin to integrate mental health screenings as a part of standard practice, thereby bringing more patients with mental health conditions into the care continuum.”


Payer Behavior

Behavioral health innovation two years later: Why is adoption taking so long?

“The opiate crisis and the rising rate of suicide splash national headlines daily. With public consciousness paying close attention to mental health and regulators pushing payers and providers to gain mental health parity, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to create solutions to meet unmet BH need. . . . We believe BH tech entrants who optimize their solutions around key issues related to reimbursement, access to care, and more serious forms of mental illness will stand out from the pack in developing enduring solutions for the BH tech market.”

Data on Payer Performance

Boosting Health Care Payer Performance with Advanced Analytics

“To gain competitive advantage, boost performance, and realize real value from data and analytics, payers should take a more strategic tack, determining first which business problems are most pressing and then how advanced analytics can best solve them.”


2020 promises to be an exciting year for developments in behavioral health. With this foundation, stay tuned as we jump into each of these trends. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions; we can’t wait to see what this year holds!

Topics: Avea Team, Current Events, payer negotiations, outcomes