Healthcare Franchises Helping to Meet America’s Mental Health Needs

Today’s post outlines America’s mental healthcare history, foregrounding the ways that Executive Care franchisees have helped meet new care needs.

Looking Back: Mental Health Crises in America

Back in the early 2000s, the American health care system was in crisis. Specialist turnover rates soared as payment levels decreased, and access to care dropped accordingly. In 2003, former president of the American Psychiatric Association Paul Appelbaum declared that, “unless steps are taken to remedy the current disarray, we are likely to witness the slow implosion of mental health services in many parts of the United States” (Mechanic and Bilder, 2004, pp. 85-86).

Similarly, the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health described our nation’s delivery of mental health services as being “fragmented and in disarray” (Mechanic and Bilder, 2004, p. 87).

While these conditions sound poor from an organizational and systems perspective, they were much worse for American families. As life spans increased and unfamiliar mental illnesses emerged, families were left unprepared to deal with the new challenges these ailments imposed. Those who were lucky enough to find and afford mental health care were forced to put their careers, families, and social lives on hold, spending their days driving loved one to multiple specialists at different care sites or tending to their needs at home.

Healthcare Franchises’ Early Role in Meeting Mental Health Needs

Though the work is never done, our country’s treatment and perspectives of mental illness have come a long way since the early 2000s, something that was attributed in large part to the proliferation of healthcare franchises popping up around the country.

Researchers recently highlighted trend data suggesting that access to mental health services had increased dramatically. Informed by modern research on mental illness and nursing, Executive Care’s specialized care, live-in care, and skilled care services helped relieve the medical system of the stress of our nation’s disproportionate supply and demand. Our franchisees opened their doors to countless community members in need, and set to work providing the care they deserved.

In addition to the direct care assistance healthcare franchises provided, Executive Care’s at-home treatment model would also indirectly help to shape the face of modern mental health treatment programs. Today’s care puts a primacy on accessibility and gives greater attention to housing, case management, and assertive community treatment, all of which have informed Executive Care’s model since day-one.

In addition to the spread of healthcare franchise systems, reduction cuts targeting Medicaid were scaled back considerably, while at the same time more healthcare franchises began working with this form of coverage. Mechanic and Bilder (2004) call this the  “single most important program for people with serious mental illness,” which is one reason why Executive Care honors this form of coverage. Our clients’ Medicaid may cover a portion of the family’s care costs, up to one-fifth of all mental health care spending.

But of course, there is more work to be done. Our healthcare system has adjusted once, but is now on the precipice of something completely different. As the Baby Boomer generation ages past 65 in unprecedented numbers, the medical system faces watershed mental health care demands. By 2020, 1 in 5 people will be part of this demographic, and qualified home caregivers will be needed as chronic mental health issues develop.

Help Your Country, Help Your Community: Starting a Healthcare Franchise

Starting a healthcare franchise with Executive Care is one of the best ways to make a meaningful contribution to America’s mental health care system. Find out how you can make a difference (and a tremendous return on investment) by visiting http://www.executivehomecarefranchise.com and booking a free consultation.

References

Mechanic, D., & Bilder, S. (2004). Treatment of people with mental illness: a decade-long perspective. Health Affairs, 23(4), 84-95.