The need for high quality behavioral health services has increased over the past year as research suggests that roughly 20% of the U.S. population may have behavioral health disorders, yet nearly 60% have unmet needs.1 This staggering statistic has created a community-wide impact – especially as the rapidly-growing aging population is not being adequately treated.

In order for health systems to address this growing need, they must first understand the benefits of behavioral health service line integration, the outcomes it can generate for their hospital and why partnership is critical for long-term success.

These benefits include:

  • Reduced medical expenditures
    The optimization of an existing behavioral health unit and/or addition of a new behavioral health service line has the potential to significantly cut costs. According to a recent Milliman Report, effective integration of behavioral healthcare with medical care can create projected annual savings of 9% to 17% when considering Medicare, commercial insurance and Medicaid enrollees.2
  • Improved care delivery
    Behavioral health program integration with a trusted partner can not only strengthen and expand existing services, but also provide new offerings that are not currently available such as inpatient behavioral health services. This enables more patients to receive treatment in an optimal care setting, while simultaneously reducing stress on emergency departments.
  • Enhanced operational efficiency
    Having a program specifically dedicated to behavioral health alleviates the administrative burden on other departments that have historically cared for behavioral health patients when bed capacity is limited. This alleviation, in addition to partnership with an industry expert, allows for an individualized treatment approach that streamlines a patient’s care journey and reduces the risk for readmission.

The need for high quality behavioral health services is long overdue. Once a hospital decides to move forward with behavioral health integration, it will not only benefit patients with existing behavioral health needs, but will also open the door to a more assessable form of care that will generate long-term benefits for those experiencing both physical and mental rehabilitative needs.

Kindred Behavioral Health helps expand access to behavioral health services in local communities nationwide, partnering with hospitals and health systems to leverage expert medical, mental health, substance abuse and operational skills to improve clinical and behavioral health outcomes while lowering long-term patient costs.

Read our latest whitepaper, “Addressing Behavioral Health Needs Helps Patients, Providers, Payers and Communities” to learn how this service line could benefit your hospital.


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2017). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 17-5044, NSDUH Series H-52).
  2. Milliman Research Report: Potential Economic Impact of integrated medical-behavioral healthcare, January 2018,,accessedAugust2020
By Kindred Behavioral Health