Mental Health Collaborative

Mental Health Collaborative


The Mental Health Collaborative was formed initially with MBGH member organizations identified access to mental health services as the primary concern in the assessment and treatment of the disease. The group seeks to work across all stakeholders to identify and implement solutions. Their initial goal was to learn more about the barriers to access and benchmark Illinois against the greater United States. The initiative supports the 100 Million Healthier Lives Pathways to Population Health1 that engages employers and other key stakeholders, to positively impact the lives that can be influenced within communities. View paper

Project Goals

Five key shifts we need to make:

    1. From a “sick care system” that is the job of health care to a “health and wellbeing system” that is all of our responsibility
    2. Take our work from ”doing good” to a recognition that we are interconnected and cannot afford the price of poverty and inequity in terms of health outcomes or health care cost
    3. From pathology to vision – change is possible
    4. From people and communities of poverty to communities of solutions with tapped and untapped potential
    5. From scarcity to abundance

    Barriers to Access Solutions:

        1. Understand your organization’s data and the impact you can make
        2. Work with vendors to implement the collaborative care model
        3. Advance legislation that addresses these key issues
        4. Utilize available toolkits and materials to educate your organization’s leadership and employees
        5. Implement societal changes in the workplace to support the prevention of mental illness

    Business Case for Employers

    United States:

    • 1 in 5 adults in any given year go untreated
    • From 2004 to 2014 death rates from suicide increased 17% 
    • During same time period opioid deaths increased more than 200%


    • 10.8% of adults reported mental health not good on 14 or more days in past 30 days (U.S. avg. 12%)


    • 9% of adults experienced poor mental health 14 or more days in the past 30
    • 5% had symptoms indicative of serious psychological distress
    • 29% of adults reported binge drinking in the past 30 days
    • 32.5% of youth reported feelings of sadness that lasted 2 weeks or more in the last 30 days

    Barriers to Access:

    • Milliman, Inc. study2 shows patients use more behavioral health out-of-network services than medical/surgical services out-of-network – 2.8 to 4.2 times higher

    1100 Million Lives Pathways to Population Health is focused on four Portfolios of Health Action resulting in Equality. The Portfolios include: P1: Physical and/or mental health, P2: Social and/or Spiritual Well-being, P3: Community Health and Well-being, P4: Communities of Solutions. Details can be found at
    2The Bowman Family Foundation commissioned Milliman to produce Addiction and Mental Health vs. Physical Health: Widening disparities in network use and provider reimbursement, a 140-page report that shows the gap in disparities for employees and their families seeking mental health and addiction treatment versus treatment for physical health conditions widened in 2016 and 2017.


    Employer Resources

    What Can Employers Do to Support Employees and Access to Care?

    Promote Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). Directing patients with mild to moderate mental illness to PCPS that have added nurse practitioners or physician assistants who specialize in psychiatry to their office: 1) time to be dedicated to diagnosis; 2) coordination of care with psychiatrists and other mental health providers.

    1. Confirm that your health plan has turned on the CoCM CPT billing codes (99492, 99493, 99494)
    2. Request data from your health plans on use of the CoCm CPT billing codes
    3. Request that health plans provide ongoing support for provider technical assistance and training in implementing the CoCM


    Employer Opportunities

    If you are interest in participating in this collaborative with MBGH, contact Cheryl Larson for more information.