HopeWay and Novant Health Team Up to Expand Access to Mental Health Services
February 03, 2022
HopeWay and Novant Health are partnering to expand psychiatric services to those in the community without insurance with the goal of improving health equity.
“This is the beginning of a wonderful partnership, which was born out of the increasing need for accessible mental health services in our community and the commitment of two organizations dedicated to serve more people across our city,” said Kevin Marra, MD, psychiatrist, director of medical services at HopeWay, who will provide mental health services at both clinics. “Together, we are providing a fully integrated behavioral health care model that enables us to serve a diverse and underserved population, breakdown the stigma of mental health, and increase access to psychiatric treatment.”
The expanded scope of mental health services at both clinics will feature an integrated model of care including a combination of in-person and virtual services. Each patient will receive a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation followed by a treatment plan based on the individual’s needs. Treatment will include medication management if necessary, therapy and collaboration with the respective clinic’s medical team.
“At Novant Health, we look at the whole person and design care around factors that both directly and indirectly influence outcomes,” said Dr. Jonathan Wilson, lead clinician for Novant Health's access and equity clinics, including the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic. “For years, we have been investing in community clinics, mobile health units and innovative wellness initiatives with the help of our community partners to ensure vital access to primary and preventive care services where and when our communities need us. By partnering with HopeWay, we’re able to pursue the possibility of providing integrated care for patients from marginalized communities who need a holistic approach for their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs.”
Because of high demand for mental health services, insured people already face challenges scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist, and securing services can be even more difficult for uninsured individuals. Oftentimes, many people turn to the emergency room for services. Since January 2020, 25% of patients utilizing the emergency room at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center for behavioral health services did not have insurance. Increased emergency room visits coupled with a lack of psychiatric beds and outpatient services make providing adequate mental health care for those in need a persistent challenge. This partnership aims to establish uninsured patients disproportionately served by emergency rooms with a mental health provider to reduce future emergency room use for behavioral health concerns.
“In addition to expanding access, we look forward to bringing high quality, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed care through this partnership,” said Diana Moser-Burg, Ph.D., integrated care clinical manager, Hope Community Clinic of East Charlotte. “We’ve continued to see the disparities in both mental health and medical outcomes for those marginalized in our community and we look forward to this collaborative effort providing evidence-based and empirically sound screening, assessment, interventions and case management services necessary to address the inequities currently present in our systems.”
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To read the Charlotte Observer article click here.