Overcoming Barriers to Behavioral Healthcare Engagement

  • October 19, 2020
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET
  • Online

Health insurance providers have made great strides to improve access, engagement, and outcomes for behavioral health populations, however, there still exists a costly subset who are not participating in needed care due to myriad and complex barriers. Recent research from Milliman found that populations with behavioral health and chronic medical comorbidities inflate medical costs up to 7.7 times – with little to none spent on behavioral care. According to McKinsey research, rising instances of individuals with complex behavioral health challenges due to COVID-19 could result in as much as $140B in incremental medical costs by the end of 2021.

Despite the availability of services and programs meant to address barriers related to access, availability, and adequacy, not many plans have taken the necessary “whole person” engagement approach that encompasses systemic, SDOH, and member-specific challenges. Health Alliance is addressing this issue in part through its partnership with Ontrak, Inc., whose solution is designed specifically to identify, engage and treat high-cost members with unaddressed behavioral conditions and chronic medical comorbidities.

This webinar will examine this issue through the lens of Health Alliance, a leading provider-sponsored, regional health plan serving Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Washington. Dr. Chester Ho, Chief Medical Officer at Health Alliance, will discuss with Dr. Julia Wright, Chief Medical Officer of Ontrak, where they are having success in tackling the problem of overcoming barriers to behavioral healthcare engagement.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The main barriers and challenges that Health Alliance members face that result in not seeking or receiving behavioral healthcare
  • The medical and economic impacts of this issue
  • How the issue has been addressed, how success has been measured, and what outcomes have been achieved
  • The key strategies that health insurance providers can implement to successfully address this issue in their populations


Dr. Chester Ho
Chief Medical Officer
Health Alliance Medical Plan

Dr. Chester (Chet) Ho is the Chief Medical Officer at Health Alliance, overseeing population health clinical services to improve member health and outcomes and provider relationships, satisfaction, and efficiency. He has more than 20 years of physician executive experience on both the provider and payer sides.

His previous experience on the provider side includes multi-specialty physician group leadership, practice & hospital operations, recruiting, physician/provider compensation and population health model design. Dr. Ho also has health plan experience as a UM medical director and Chief Medical Officer. Most recently, Dr. Ho spent 7 years at Evolent Health, a national healthcare management company, as Chief Medical Officer overseeing clinical, quality, and value-based provider performance services for their national provider partners with ACOs, Medicaid, and Medicare Advantage health plans.

Dr. Ho is a Board Certified Pediatrician who received his Medical Degree from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and has done leadership coursework in business, finance, quality, and managing physician performance through the American Association of Physician Leadership (formerly the American College of Physician Executives).

Dr. Julia Wright
Chief Medical Officer
Ontrak, Inc.

Dr. Wright leads clinical strategy and new product development at Ontrak, bringing more than 20 years of healthcare experience, focused on transformation, innovation and driving value. She is an experienced physician executive with a passion and expertise for advancing healthcare organizations through transformation to total care and cost management.

Prior to Ontrak, Dr. Wright served as CMO for a multistate integrated system’s health plan and prior to that, was CMO of an independent health system and professor and division chief of a large academic institution.

Dr. Wright received her Medical Degree from The University of Michigan Medical School and completed residency in internal medicine at The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.