​​Ascension's plans to expand behavioral health services are the topic of " an article in the latest edition of Catholic Health World, a publication of the Catholic Health Association.

Carol Hartmann, Director of Behavioral and Mental Health, tells CHW that Ascension will be on the leading edge of a trend in behavioral health of "using new, creative models for assessing mental health care in all kinds of settings — including primary and specialty care — and extending clinically integrated systems of care to ensure appropriate care for patients at every level."

Ascension is assessing its behavioral health approaches to find gaps in care and develop plans to fill in those gaps while spreading and standardizing leading practices across the System.

One approach that may help is expansion of tele-behavioral health services to more locations, according to the article. So far, that virtual care service has been implemented in Emergency Departments, urgent care centers and primary care offices in 40 locations.

The behavioral health initiative also involves legislative advocacy work, including increasing lawmakers' awareness of the value of mental health care and the need for better reimbursement, according to Gayle Trupiano, Vice President, Performance Excellence, Ascension Healthcare.

Click here for the full CHW article.