Signature Health Launches Patient Navigation Services to Support Care Coordination and Treatment Access for Northeast Ohio Individuals with Behavioral Health Needs
More than $500K in funding from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and the Lake County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board addresses care gaps through patient navigation services.
November 2, 2022: Signature Health now offers patient navigation services to further support individuals who have taken the first step in seeking treatment for a mental health and/or a substance use disorder (SUD). The new program is supported through grant funding from two organizations.
Signature Health’s growing team of patient navigators—which also includes personnel support from AmeriCorps—outreaches to newer patients, to offer personalized support, education, care coordination, and resources to address the impact of social determinants of health. Navigators are trained to understand systemic barriers to health care and support members of historically marginalized communities, including patients of color, patients with disabilities, and low-income patients.
According to SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 73.8 million Americans (more than 29%) had a mental illness and/or substance use disorder, illustrating the importance for programs like this to support patients in successfully navigating their treatment needs.
“Our agency data and experience in behavioral health care tells us that patients who reach their seventh appointment are more likely to stay engaged with treatment and see long-term, positive health outcomes,” said Jonathan Lee, CEO, Signature Health. “However, many people reach out for help but lose the courage to follow through before we see them even the first time. By including dedicated Patient Navigators as part of the care team, we’re able to provide higher-touch, concierge-like services to help our newer patients better understand the programs available to them, and drill down into any barriers that pose a risk to the individual disengaging with the treatment they need. We are deeply appreciative of the grant funding provided by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and the Lake County ADAMHS Board. This funding allows us to build out a passionate team of patient navigators and further protect against disengaged patients falling through the cracks.”
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has awarded Signature Health $350,000 over three years to fund navigation services for patients living with SUD, to support access to treatment and lifelong recovery. This grant is part of a larger Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation investment of up to $30 million over the next three years across the nation—with nearly $1.1 million in Ohio—to promote equity in mental health, particularly for people with SUD.
“We know a more personalized approach to improving health lies within our communities and we are grateful to work alongside Signature Health to provide meaningful solutions to achieve better health and to advance health equity,” said Dr. Benjamin Boche, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Medicaid Behavioral Health Medical Director in Ohio. “By acknowledging the physical, behavioral, and social drivers of health as they relate to substance use disorders, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, along with our community partners, are positioned to provide real progress for those that may be facing challenges.”
The Lake County ADAMHS Board has awarded Signature Health $180,000, also in support of patient navigation services for behavioral health and primary care patients, with a focus on integrated care.
Kim Fraser, Lake County ADAMHS Board Executive Director said, “When we reviewed the proposal, immediately we saw the potential benefits, including ease of navigation and an increased likelihood that individuals in need will continue vital recovery services, leading to better long-term results. This is a great first step toward increasing success rates and providing better care to those in Lake County.”
About Signature Health
Founded in 1993, Signature Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing mental health, addiction recovery, primary care and infectious disease services to patients of all ages. With 10 outpatient and residential locations in three Northeast Ohio counties (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga and Lake), Signature Health primarily serves Medicaid and Medicare patients and offers a sliding fee scale based on household income for patients without insurance. Committed to putting good health within reach of all our community members, Signature Health increases access to care through telehealth, walk-in hours, evening appointments, transportation support, on-site laboratories, and on-site pharmacies with free mailing and delivery options. For more information about Signature Health, visit SignatureHealth.org or call 440-578-8200.
Media Contact: Allie Morana, firstname.lastname@example.org, 440-487-0584