Navigant's Catherine Sreckovich for Modern Healthcare
Each year, the nation's health system spends billions of dollars trying to treat, manage, and prevent an array of avoidable conditions that only continue to grow in prevalence. Projections indicate that the number of people living with multiple chronic illnesses will more than double by 2050 to 83 million if current trends continue.
Despite these staggering numbers, the effort to stem or even reverse the rising numbers of Americans who develop chronic illnesses has fallen short. It's a problem the healthcare system remains mostly unprepared to effectively address. Years of research and initiatives focused on prevention and promoting healthier behaviors have missed the mark because they fail to tackle arguably the single greatest contributor to the chronic disease epidemic - mental illness.
Read more about behavioral health and how it has been largely ignored when determining the factors involved in physical health.
If a patient is not eager to say I've been depressed, I've been anxious and I have a backache, it's not common that the primary care physician is going to pull that information out of him.”