Treating Mental Health Disorders in an Accountable Care Organization

Activity Details
  • Credit Type: CME
  • Credit Amount: 2.00
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: Dec 12, 2016
  • Expires: Dec 12, 2017
  • Estimated Time to Complete:
    2 Hour(s)
  • System Requirements:
  • Average User Rating:
    ( Ratings)


Debra L.  Gordon Debra L. Gordon, MS
Editorial Support
GordonSquared, Inc
Highland Park, Illinois

Neil B.  Minkoff Neil B. Minkoff, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Maynard, Massachusetts

Needs Statement

Mental health conditions and substance use disorders (SUDs), referred to as behavioral health conditions, are a leading cause of global disability. In the United States, an estimated 1 in 3 adults suffers from one or both of these disorders. These individuals die, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population as a result of suicide or comorbid physical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory distress, or infectious disease (HIV/ AIDS). They also incur significantly higher medical and societal costs.
Estimated spending on behavioral health conditions varies depending on the study. One analysis based on 41 million individuals covered under Medicare, Medicaid, or commercial health plans who were treated for a behavioral health condition in 2012 estimated a cost of $525 billion, nearly half of the $1.7 trillion spent that year on all health-related expenditures. Another analysis estimated a lower cost: $201 billion in 2013. Both analyses, however, noted that spending on behavioral health conditions was the highest category of any other medical condition in the United States, topping cardiovascular disease and trauma.
The number of people seeking services for behavioral health conditions is expected to increase over the next decade due to the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that insurance companies cover screening and other services for mental health and substance abuse conditions, and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires that insurers provide equal coverage for behavioral and physical health conditions.

Despite the physical, economic, and societal consequences of behavioral health conditions, about one-third of individuals with these disorders receive no treatment, and the vast majority of the rest receive substandard treatment. This gap between needed care and received care increased by about two-thirds between 1997 and 2010. Indeed, 70% of Americans in a recent poll from the Kennedy Forum felt that the country needed significant changes in the way it manages behavioral health conditions.

Today, many individuals with behavioral health disorders receive care in the primary care or medical specialty, not behavioral health, setting. Of those, up to 80% receive no treatment or substandard treatment for their behavioral health disorder. This includes prescribing antidepressants for mild depressive symptoms, which are relatively ineffective, and the use of psychotropic medications with no documented behavioral health diagnosis. Psychosocial approaches, which studies find can be just as effective as medication, are also underutilized.

Target Audience

Pharmacists, physicians, and managed care professionals


At completion of this activity, the participant will be able to:
1. Identify challenges for treating behavioral health disorders and the gaps in an accountable care organization (ACO).
2. Explore opportunities to treat behavioral health disorders by establishing partnerships within an ACO.
3. Examine best practices and examples of successful incorporation of behavioral health treatment within an ACO.


Accreditation Statement - CME
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Pharmacy Times Continuing Education. The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine presents this activity for educational purposes only. Participants are expected to utilize their own expertise and judgment while engaged in the practice of medicine. The content of the presentations is provided solely by presenters who have been selected for presentations because of recognized expertise in their field.

ACGME Competencies:
• Medical knowledge
• Practice-based learning and improvement
• Professionalism

Accreditation Statement - CPE
ACPEPharmacy Times Continuing Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is approved for 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs) under the ACPE universal activity number 0290-9999-16-134-H01-P. The activity is available for CE credit through December 12, 2017.

Obtaining Credit: Participants must read the article, complete the online posttest, achieve a passing score of 70% or higher, and complete an online evaluation and request for credit. Detailed instructions for obtaining CE/CME credit are included at the end of this activity.

This CE activity is also offered free online at (for AMA PRA Category 1 creditsTM) and at (for CEUs), where you will be directed to the activity in its entirety, including the online pretest and posttest, activity evaluation, and request for credit.

Faculty Disclosure

No authors, planners or content reviewers have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The material presented in this course represents information obtained from the scientific literature as well as the clinical experiences of the speakers. In some cases, the presentations might include discussion of investigational agents and/or off-label indications for various agents used in clinical practice. Speakers will inform the audience when they are discussing investigational and/or off-label uses.

Content review confirmed that the content was developed in a fair, balanced manner free from commercial bias. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.


This activity is jointly provided by the University of Kentucky and Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education (PTOCPE).

Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc & Lundbeck.

Planning Staff

Pharmacy Times Continuing Education
Planning staff—David Heckard; Maryjo Dixon, RPh;
Dipti Desai, PharmD, RPh; and Donna Fausak

The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits
Planning staff—Nicole Beagin

University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Planning Staff— Steven Johnson, PhD, LCSW, and Candy Back