BHB VALUE: Our Journey to Value: Insights from 100 Industry Leaders

This article is sponsored by Blueprint Health, based on a presentation by Dylan Ross, Head of Clinical, Blueprint Health. This presentation occurred on March 12, 2023 during the BHB VALUE Conference. The article below has been edited for length and clarity.

Dylan Ross: I recently went through a series of personal and professional transitions, having left a role with a large care delivery organization and moving my family from Colorado to the Midwest. As I searched for the next step in my professional journey, I set an audacious goal to interview 100 industry leaders from every facet of the behavioral health space while deciding the direction of my next professional endeavor. When asked to do this presentation, I decided to approach it in a more qualitative fashion, reflecting on three key questions that I posed to these industry leaders:

“What distinguishes exceptional care delivery organizations today?”


“What does the future of care entail and how can we pave the way?”

“What are those overlooked concerns that demand greater attention of our leadership and our field more broadly?”

Much of what I heard was both conformational and validating, and it inspired a tremendous amount of hope for where we as a field are going next. What follows are reflections and highlights from these interviews.


Regardless of which organization comes to mind when you think about exceptional care, there’s a good chance that the ingredients in their success are universal — the structures and processes that set their systems up to deliver exceptional quality and reliability.

What I heard from leaders in our field emphasized the importance of designing care models built upon translational evidence. We know what works best for most, and we know that there’s a significant translational gap between research and practice. Exceptional organizations have a characteristic of ultimately building on what works.

The majority of my interviews also highlighted the importance of building standardized, repeatable treatment processes. Leaders underscored the importance of reducing practice variation which results in 1,000 blooming flowers when it comes to our outcomes. We need to standardize and put appropriate controls around these treatment inputs. What does that look like? It looks like having clear care pathways. It means implementing standardized processes and standard work.

Third, something near and dear to my heart — measurement-informed care — brings us to the concept of continuous improvement, which was a theme well represented in my conversations. This is built around the flywheel of data that drives actionable insights, providing clear direction around where we can focus our efforts to foster improvement at all levels, all while prioritizing the common factors of the therapeutic relationship — goal alignment, empathy and alliance.

And finally, those interviewed emphasized the need for clear clinical and administrative controls — and the integration of patient and therapist-centricity into the culture of care, acknowledging the current strain on the clinical workforce and unprecedented levels of burnout and moral distress.

I heard clearly that the future of care will be predicated payment reform — realigning incentives to ensure shared risk is spread more evenly across the system, moving away from volume-centric fee-for-service models to those focused on outcomes. These discussions emphasized the evolution and adoption of alternative payment models as a key step forward.

Amidst this, AI has sparked both hope and concern, with its potential for care automation and providing actionable insights at the point of care. Additionally, the concept of de-medicalizing mental health where appropriate was shared by several big thinkers interviewed, pointing towards a necessary shift in perception. This means advocating for a normalization of mental health challenges as life episodes rather than defaulting to pejorative models of understanding the human condition.

Some of the concerns shared around this evolution included transactional payer-provider relationships, historical distrust between independent practitioners and large insurers, and the pervasive issue of frontline moral distress and burnout. Despite abundant data on these issues, the pressing question remains: “What next?” The consensus among those interviewed is that more can be done to support frontline workers while in tandem, re-imaging models of care.

If I had to boil these concerns down, my hope for the progression of our field hinges on investing in frontline clinicians, prioritizing quality, equity, and access, designing for reliability and outcome-based payments, and nurturing humanity in health care. This isn’t a playbook or a set of magic bullets, but my own personal takeaways from 100 interviews with industry leaders and, ultimately, what I’ve learned about where we are today and where we need to go tomorrow.

Ending on a note of personal hope, it’s encouraging that while the insights shared aren’t entirely novel or unique, they underscore a clear understanding of our path forward. Having recently joined Blueprint, I was drawn towards our provider-enablement platform that exists to help make the right thing easy to do when it comes to delivering and measuring high quality behavioral health care. Blueprint is bringing intelligent technology alongside care delivery, and ultimately helping clinicians deliver fidelity-aligned, evidence-based care — all while giving time back to the clinical front line through our documentation automation tools. I’ve landed in a place that is quite inspiring and it resonates with the direction in which I believe we as a field need to move. 

In closing, I want to thank the 100 leaders who with candor and generosity, offered their time and reflections on our field. Cheers to you and the good work you are doing on behalf of those we serve.

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length and clarity.

Blueprint Health provides a therapist enablement platform that helps mental health clinicians automate their progress notes, keep clients engaged between sessions, practice measurement-informed care, and more. To learn more, visit

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