Millions of Americans with behavioral health conditions aren’t receiving needed care due to myriad barriers to care. Further, a recent Milliman analysis found individuals with behavioral health conditions are major drivers of cost in the US health care system – inflating costs by up to 6-7 times compared to non-behavioral health populations. These higher costs are largely driven by increased utilization of emergency department and inpatient stays, which often function as primary care for individuals with untreated behavioral health issues that cause or exacerbate chronic medical comorbidities. The high-cost behavioral health group in the analysis accounted for only 5.7% of the total population, yet drove 44% of total healthcare costs, with little to none spent on behavioral healthcare. The result for health insurance providers is that a small, complex population is driving millions of dollars in avoidable spending.
Ontrak has released a landmark behavioral health study proving that the Ontrak program effectively engages these complex populations and delivers meaningful outcomes and cost savings. The study, “Treatment Effect of the Ontrak Program,” compared Ontrak program graduates to a highly similar, propensity-matched group of individuals who were eligible but did not enroll in the program.
The treated member cohort in the study incurred an average of $33,348 in total costs in the 12 months before treatment. The study found that members who completed the 12-month Ontrak program gave health insurance providers an all-cause savings on average $486 per member per month over the 24 months post-enrollment compared to those who did not enroll in the program. That is just shy of $12,000, or 20%, cost savings per member over 24 months.
The savings was largely driven by a statistically significant 65% reduction in inpatient utilization associated with $488 per member per month savings for inpatient admissions. The study also demonstrated Ontrak members increase use of preventive care services, with a $110 per member per month, or 50%, increase in costs for behavioral and primary care office visits. These findings indicate that this previously unengaged population is using preventive and behavior health care more appropriately, even two years post enrollment, demonstrating that the Ontrak program drives lasting behavior changes in its members.
Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan has seen firsthand the positive impact that timely, effective behavioral health services can have on the quality of people’s lives. He believes that Ontrak is uniquely positioned to serve the surging need for equitable access to quality behavioral health services with our very talented colleagues, clinical coaching model and preeminent engagement capabilities.
A demonstrated leader with diverse health care experience, Jonathan was most recently Chief Transformation Officer of CVS Health, where he led the portfolio of company-wide, business transformation initiatives that defined CVS as a truly consumer-centric health care company and shaped CVS Health’s integrated value story. Previously, he was President of U.S. Markets for the Aetna Health Care Business, where he was responsible for $52B in revenue and $4.3B in operating income for all commercial and Medicare lines of business. Under Jonathan’s leadership, the Aetna Markets Organization achieved record growth and launched innovative, customer-focused solutions to 17 million medical members nationwide.
Jonathan is a graduate of Providence College.
Hilary Placzek, PhD, MPH
Senior Director, Medical Economics & Outcomes
Dr. Placzek is a research epidemiologist by training, and has been involved in applied public health for over 15 years. At Ontrak, she leads the Medical Economics and Outcomes team that focuses on defining metrics and longitudinal studies that measure treatment effect of the Ontrak program.
Dr. Placzek is an associate member of Ariadne Labs in Cambridge, MA, which is committed to understanding how to design, test, and implement clinical interventions that work at scale. Her work as a first-author and contributing researcher has been presented at national conferences and webinars, and published in journals such as PLoS Medicine, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy, Vaccine, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and American Journal of Public Health.
Dr. Placzek’s methodological training includes Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Boston University School of Public Health. She holds a PhD in Clinical and Population Health Research from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, an MPH in Global Health/Epidemiology from Boston University School of Public Health, and a BA in French and Chemistry from Colgate University in Hamilton, NY.