Four of the largest community behavioral health provider organizations in Washington State launched a new partnership called Fourfront Contributor, an advocacy and leadership coalition. The member organizations include Compass Health, Comprehensive Healthcare, Frontier Behavioral Health, and Sound. Serving more than 76,000 individuals, the Fourfront Contributor footprint spans from the Pacific Ocean to the Inland Northwest regions of the state.
In 2021, Fourfront Contributor will focus on advocating for legislative support of telehealth in behavioral health care delivery. Mobilized by the rapid adoption and innovation of telehealth during the pandemic and the positive impact for clients, Fourfront Contributor’s member chief executive officers (CEOs) recognized the importance of championing telehealth and its ability to ensure access to care. According to collective data, the four organizations saw a 3,700% increase in telehealth encounters and nearly 10 percentage points decrease in no-shows and cancellations in 2020 alone due to the expansion of telehealth.
To ensure continued success, one of Fourfront Contributor’s key priorities includes advocating for the state legislature to adhere to a set of core principles for determining telehealth regulatory and reimbursement structures. This includes:
- Use telehealth to increase access and promote health equity through support for the full range of telehealth modalities.
- Maximize regulatory flexibilities to sustain telehealth adoption.
- Permit clinical professionals, in collaboration with consumers to determine when a telehealth visit is appropriate.
- Reimburse telehealth visits on par with in-person visits to ensure a comprehensive coordinated and integrated continuum of care designed with equity in mind.
- Work with partners on broadband access and adequate funding to ensure distribution of hardware.
In the future, Fourfront Contributor leaders envision multiple avenues that will contribute their collective scale and expertise to improve the health of individuals and communities. This includes engaging lawmakers to advocate for sound policies and necessary funding; serving consumers by developing practical, scalable, and evidence-based models of care; working with payers to advocate for adequate funding to support community behavioral health services; and supporting provider organizations by advancing knowledge and best practices across service areas.
Fourfront Contributor weaves together the collective size, experience and thought leadership of four of the largest community behavioral health provider organizations in Washington state. The coalition contributes practical, scalable expertise to advocate for sound policy, deploys evidence-based models of care, supports adequate funding, advances knowledge and best practices, and creates systems that improve the health of individuals and communities.
This was reported by Fourfront Contributor on January 14, 2021.