About this project
The problem we solve:
Among American adults, the prevalence of smoking is 18%; unhealthy drinking, 23%; drug use, 10%; depression, 8%; and obesity, 30%. These conditions lead to 40% of deaths, most chronic disease, and about $1 trillion in healthcare and workplace costs per year. Although many Americans are screened, few receive the robust interventions and ongoing support known to improve outcomes, reduce emergency department visits and hospital admissions, and reduce costs.
A key barrier to behavioral screening and intervention (BSI), physician time constraints, can be overcome by expanding care teams with cost-efficient bachelor’s-level coaches. As payers increasingly base reimbursement on value, incentives will grow to hire such coaches. Our package of training, support and unique software enables coaches to deliver high-quality BSI.
Results will be healthier patients, fewer burned out physicians, and more successful accountable care organizations and other managed care organizations.
About our solution:
Wellsys (WELL-siss) provides training, support and unique software for BSI. The software guides coaches in administering, scoring and interpreting behavioral screening and assessment questionnaires; issuing feedback, education and recommendations (including referrals as necessary) tailored to patients’ personal and family medical histories; conducting motivational interviewing to promote commitment to healthier behaviors; helping patients to construct behavior change plans and refine them over time; and administering the IMPACT model collaborative care for depression. It engages patients, prints end-of-session summaries for patients, generates progress notes and billing information, and links with electronic health records. It tracks prevalence, service delivery and changes in behavioral outcomes for all patients and for subsets. It enables complete population health management of behavioral risks and disorders – major generators of poor health outcomes and higher healthcare costs. Progress to date:
Wellsys’ BSI program is a spin-off of a successful university-based program which served 33 healthcare settings, screened over 100,000 patients, documented substantial improvements in behavioral outcomes, and generated $791 two-year healthcare cost savings per patient screened. We initially developed the software for touchscreen laptops. We recently moved it to more portable, user-friendly Android tablets. Thoroughly tested and debugged, it will soon be available in Spanish. A current paying customer – a free clinic and partnering social agencies – is pleased with the training and software. In June 2016 we will launch a new paying customer – 3 FQHCs with 10 coaches. We are expanding marketing to small ACOs, because BSI will improve their performance on 16 CMS quality metrics and generate ample shared savings. We are also marketing to joint replacement programs in Medicare’s bundled payment program, because BSI addresses strong risk factors for complications and repeat surgeries.
About Our Team
Dr. Richard Brown, MD, MPH
Family Medicine , Practicing Physician
Brown University Bio:
Dr. Brown is a family physician and a tenured professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles on the primary care management of behavioral risks and disorders. He was president of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) from 1997 to 1999 and received AMERSA’s McGovern award for excellence in medical education in 2002.
University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine Hospital Affiliation:
Training and Software for Evidence-Based Behavioral Screening and Intervention Twitter: