Mapping Changed This County's Approach to Behavioral Health

San Bernardino County

San Bernardino County

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

San Bernardino County once thought consumers avoided services because of the stigma attached.

San Bernardino County, like all California counties, is required to have a mental health plan for consumers with severe, persistent mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Only recently, in 2014, did federal and state policy allow expansion of that plan to encompass consumers with mild to moderate behavioral health conditions, largely due to the stigma surrounding them.

“There has been a general belief that people don’t want to access behavioral health services because of the stigma,” Sarah Eberhardt-Rios, deputy director of program support services at the county Department of Behavioral Health, told Route Fifty in an interview.

Though that’s still “somewhat true,” she said, mapping consumer population data has shown DBH many do want to seek treatment—if only they understood the services available and how to access them.

The large county covers about 20,000 square miles with a population of 2.1 million people, just over 500,000 of which are Medi-Cal consumers. Overlay a map of enrollees separated by income levels with clinic resources, and you begin to get a picture of where services are scarce and why consumers aren’t accessing them.

DBH’s Research and Evaluation team works with Cary, North Carolina-based data analytics software company SAS to do just that. SAS manages identified datasets for analysis of health outcomes, a once-difficult task because state policies and internal checks make it tough to couple behavioral health with physical medical data in a timely fashion.

“This area has not benefited from the traditional ways we’d look at data,” said Steve Kearney, SAS medical director for state and local government. “We try to let the data tell the story.”

Data-sharing limitations have kept consumers from services, but GIS mapping is changing that—showing the county who is accessing the behavioral health system and where.

Treatment data previously reviewed manually is now modeled instantly, allowing the county to relocate services where there are more community partners like school districts, hospitals, emergency rooms, and correctional facilities. Planning can be informed and adjusted and clinics concentrated strategically, perhaps near transportation hubs.

Patterns of re-hospitalization have emerged monitoring how long consumers are in care, the health systems they come from and the services they use.

“Hospitalizations often rely on the level of social support in a person’s life, and if that level is low they might be at risk for more hospitalizations,” Eberhardt-Rios said. “The social determinants of health are considered more.”

The knowledge that people aren’t always avoiding treatment has led the county to change the way it talks about connecting consumers with outpatient services to engage them more effectively. If cancer patients can be “survivors,” why can’t behavioral health patients?

A new outcomes-based regime has taken hold that prioritizes keeping consumers out of hospitals if possible and tracking what happens after they’re discharged.

San Bernardino County determines the outcomes it wants to measure like improving families’ behavioral health knowledge.

“Engagement and outpatient services went up 700 percent in some cases,” said Dr. Joshua Morgan, DBH chief of behavioral health informatics.

The county’s success can be replicated with other datasets like pharmacy, arrest and foster care data, Kearney said.

Eberhardt-Rios would like to take a deeper look into intervention issues of the brain and show, through data, the behavioral health gains the county is making in consumers’ lives.

“We want to utilize our relationships and data gathered to work collaboratively on an integrated approach with other health care providers,” she said.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: Emergency Session for Fla. Prison Crisis?; Bad Transportation Governance in N.J.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.