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Gettysburg, PA. (May 14, 2023) — OPEN MINDS announced today the release of a new white paper provided by Alera Health that focuses on behavioral health integrated systems of care (ISC). The white paper, “Beyond The ACO: Building An Integrated System of Care (ISC) To Maximize Value-Based Performance” provides an overview of key elements in an ISC – and the value proposition for payers and behavioral health provider organizations.

The ISC model is the next generation of organized systems of care, a likely replacement to the ACO, according to Mike Rhoades, chief executive officer of Alera Health. “Smaller organizations benefit by being at the table for care coordination value-based payments when they can pool their resources and invest collectively in advanced technologies, they would otherwise not be able to afford,” said Mr. Rhoades. “Our model assembles and manages ISCs for patients with primary and secondary behavioral health issues. We now have over 3 million lives across our 15 “ONEcare” networks nationwide and have seen improved timely access by 10X and reduced unnecessary inpatient utilization by up to 50%. Our participating behavioral health ONEcare provider organizations have earned millions in value based incentives as a result.”

The ISC model is structured for commercially disparate organizations to come together under self-governance, including medical and behavioral systems across the outpatient to inpatient continuum. Behavioral health organizations often serve as the center of the coordination effort for complex medically-behaviorally involved individuals. These models improve cross referrals, smooth care coordination and increase access and engagement for individuals. They also allow for the sharing of resources and cost burdens such as technology and data systems that not only speed ease of use and increased transparency of data across systems but allow for cost burden reduction for smaller organizations.

“This model is well worth considering for behavioral health organizations,” says Carol Duncan Clayton, Ph.D. senior associate with OPEN MINDS. “Given the recent announcement from The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the goal to have every Medicare member associated with an accountable care organization by the year 2030, behavioral health organizations must initiate action to be the table and ready to take part in these advanced integrated care systems. The baby boomers have arrived and the increased life longevity, albeit, with increased chronic health conditions – behavioral, medical and social—make the timing ripe for behavioral health organizations to be at the helm of these coordinated care models. They are a path to sustainability and growth.”

You can find the white paper here, courtesy of Alera Health, to learn more about ISCs—what they are and what and why to consider these models as a part of your long term strategic growth plan.

About Alera Health (Formerly Blaze Advisors)

Alera Health assembles and manages ISCs for patients with primary and secondary behavioral health issues. With over 3M lives across 15 “ONEcare©” networks nationwide, Alera Health supports behavioral health, primary care, and social care providers manage a seamless and accountable continuum of care, enabling patients to share their story just once. Leveraging our proprietary Care Optimization System©, ONEcare providers receive “care alerts” that improve disease detection, anticipate crisis, and enhance patient engagement. ONEcare networks have improved timely access by 10X and reduced unnecessary inpatient utilization by up to 50%, earning millions in incentives for ONEcare participants.

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OPEN MINDS is a national market intelligence, management consulting, and marketing services firm specializing exclusively in the markets of the health and human service field that serve consumers with chronic conditions and complex support needs. OPEN MINDS’ mission is to provide payers, service provider organizations, and technology and scientific firms that serve these consumers with the market and management knowledge needed to improve their organizational efficiency and effectiveness. Learn more at

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