What They’re Watching: Kristen Slater

Kristen Slater, Southern California state director at Beacon Health Options, joins us in this edition of What They’re Watching to discuss access to behavioral health.

I think our organization has some larger things that we’re looking at across the country and then some specific to the State of California, larger, we’re looking at access issues with psychiatry, how we work around some of those access issues, how we change payment structures to encourage coordination and integration across behavioral health and physical health providers. In California, I think we have the added layer of the behavioral health carve out and some of the drug Medi-Cal initiatives so that adds a layer of complexity to how we coordinate for behavioral health in itself and then how we also go back to physical healthcare to coordinate.

People are making progress and I think we’re all moving towards the same goal, I think many of us are taking different paths to get there, I think we’re seeing a lot of innovation with technology to assist with integration, I think there’s always an eye for access these days related to knowing that there’s a limited number of providers and how we get creative to figure out how to provide good care but also really leverage our providers in a meaningful way so that they’re seeing the members that need a face to face touch with a specialized psychiatrist or someone face to face.

Note: This was recorded at our 2016 Southern California State of Reform Health Policy Conference on Oct. 31, 2016.