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5 Behavioral Health Trends for 2019

Industry News | Healthcare Advice | mental health

Behavioral health is particularly topical, as the mind-body connection continues to be unraveled in new and fascinating ways. Here are 5 trends you will see at the forefront of behavioral health this year.

Popping CBT Instead of Opioids:

With the opioid crisis still raging, researchers are working feverishly to find pain pill alternatives. Evidence continues to mount of the link between mental illness and opioid addiction. Patients with depression are three times more likely to become addicted to opioids, and over half of the homeless population with drug addiction is also mentally ill. Studies show that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, mindfulness, and meditation are often just as effective at relieving many types of pain. Patients will increasingly be directed to behavioral health physicians for pain management. Two hurdles that need to be leapt in this field are adequate training in pain management for behavioral health practitioners, as well as reimbursement support from insurance companies. Expect a push for the treatment of mental illness being reimbursed equitably with physical illness.

Finding Your Rhythm:

healthcare trends in 2019 as shown by a stethoscope on top of a medical graph

2019 should be all about finding your rhythm- your circadian rhythm, that is. Cortisol and melatonin are the two hormones most responsible for keeping us awake and putting us to sleep, maintaining our circadian rhythm. Ideally, Cortisol peaks in the morning, waking us up like a cup of coffee, and melatonin kicks in at night, to wind us down for the day. But this circadian rhythm is easily disrupted- particularly in the age of artificial light. Lack of exposure to natural light in the morning, compounded by artificial blue light from electronics at night, can really throw things off. Why is this important to behavioral health? The circadian rhythm impacts every organ in the body, especially the brain. A disrupted sleep cycle is troublesome for ADD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, just to name a few. Research on restoring this balance is ongoing and will have widespread behavioral health applications in 2019. 

Getting Comfortable with Cannabis:

Cannabis is a hot topic, with passionate advocates on either side of the debate. But there is no question that the cannabis industry is picking up steam. Cannabis is being implemented in the treatment of inflammation, anxiety, seizures, pain, and addiction, just to name a few. In 2019, the endocannabinoid system, which is the bodily system that interacts with the compounds in hemp oil and CBD, will be in the healthcare spotlight. This system is responsible for secreting hormones related to stress response. Two endocannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 are being studied to create new agonists to treat everything from anxiety to Alzheimer's.

Eating Your Way Out of Alzheimer's:

People who make it to the ripe age of 85 can boast in their longevity, but must also contend with the fact that 50% of them will have Alzheimer's. It is the fastest growing epidemic in America, and the treatment of it is drastically changing. Current research links brain health very closely to nutrition. Many pharmaceutical companies have stopped developing treatments for Alzheimer's, with research suggesting that the current medicines are no more effective than placebos. Trends now are toward healthy foods and behavioral health. The brain receives its nourishment through food and its resiliency through robust interaction. Managing stress, addressing mental illness, forming meaningful relationships, and exercising the brain are all keys to mitigating the threat of Alzheimer's.

Increasing Data Consumption... in Moderation:

Technology will make great strides in data collection for 2019, and tech tools will become even smarter. Psychologists can now study depression across entire counties, researching effects of things like climate and employment rates on different populations. Comparing things like tweets from millions of people with ADHD may help tap into the complexity of human disease. Comparing hypotheses of medical assumptions against big data will be a focus of behavioral health scientists this year. Contrasting that, research will also be directed at the over-consumption of digital information and the mental health effects of technology usage; including addiction, depression, and suicide.

Learn More About Behavioral Health Trends in 2019

With all the changes in the healthcare industry, and new research findings every day, it can be a challenge for healthcare practitioners to stay on top of it all, and still manage all of their patients. Electronic Health Records (EHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) are three services we offer to come alongside you and lighten your load. We streamline your practice to allow you to see more patients and generate more revenue while focusing on what matters most- taking care of your patients. Contact us today to learn more!

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Since 1977, clients have relied on the ADS team and our intelligent automation solutions and services. The MedicsCloud Suite, ADS’s latest generation of rules driven financial, revenue cycle, practice management, clinical charting and reporting, and mobility/engagement platforms, are used by clients to produce maximized revenue and efficiency for their practices, groups, and enterprise networks.

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