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A new year also brings in new trends for the behavioral healthcare industry. Whether it be from the political woes or general changes or growth from the industry within, behavioral healthcare will have a shift in focus in 2018. The following are a few challenges and shifts that will be apparent throughout the behavioral healthcare industry.

 

4 – Consolidation

A big trend expected to be seen throughout the behavioral healthcare landscape is company mergers. Acquisitions and company absorption are expected to be steady throughout 2018. Private equity firms who have platform deals will be looking to grow their portfolios with a thorough strategy of finding smaller targets with potentially lower multiples that will fill service gaps in the continuum of care. The nonprofit sector will be seeing a lot of absorption or merging with increased pressure on Medicaid reimbursement.

 

3 – Unprivileged

A foundational pillar of behavioral healthcare is social justice and equality. In essence, the industry does its best to help those who are most disadvantaged – persons who are poor, disabled, children, or the elderly. These groups are faced with high risks of mental health problems and are also given the worse access to health care. Social justice is a guiding force for behavioral healthcare because the field values treating people equally and inherently work to overcome inequities. Behavioral healthcare will continue to battle for social justice and equality for all people.

 

2 – Millennial Marketing

The Millennial generation makes up over 80 million people and is now larger than the previous baby boomer generation. The generation has a much larger pool of potential behavioral health patients. It is important for health centers to begin to shift their marketing efforts digitally and gear them towards younger people. Many are still not involved in and avoid the current healthcare system due to its overly complicated reputation. This new year will be a focus on Millennial recruitment across various levels.

 

1 – Telehealth Growth

Access to healthcare will be a major theme this year. Consumers are demanding great access, convenience, and empowerment in their care selections. Telehealth is one of the ways access and convenience could connect millennials to behavioral health. The idea of “anywhere, anytime” will be a major draw for new patients and stronger connections with those already in the care system.