Acadia Healthcare Prioritizes Integrating Service Lines

Integrating service lines is a crucial priority for behavioral health provider Acadia Healthcare (Nasdaq: ACHC).

Acadia is the largest behavioral health provider in the country and offers inpatient and outpatient mental health care, substance use disorder services, eating disorder care and various other offerings.

Acadia CEO Chris Hunter noted that patients in their care often have comorbid conditions and could benefit from other services.


“I think we’ve been very intentional around cross-selling. We know that somebody that comes to one of our specialty facilities and admits, 70% of the time, will also have an underlying [opioid use disorder] OUD diagnosis,” Hunter said at the Leerink Partners Healthcare Crossroads Conference on Wednesday. “That interplay between the lines of business is something we’ve been intentional about.”

The provider has also been considering adding more intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) to accommodate patients who are transitioning from inpatient care.

“Clinically, a majority of our patients indicate that there is an opportunity post-discharge for some PHP or IOP programming. We’ve been very intentional in the past year of adding those programs,” Hunter said. “We added over 40 to existing markets last year, we’ve added another 15 programs this year, and I think the outpatient component will play a central role in integrating the various lines of business. But I would still say that we’re very early in working through that.”


Still, Acadia’s integration focus is not solely focused on its internal service lines. The company is also closely watching the move towards integrated behavioral and physical health.

“Overall, we love the idea of an integrated behavioral health model,” Hunter said. “A big part of our strategy is joint ventures and working very closely with these health systems in the integration between physical and mental health.”

Hunter noted the organization is looking closely at The Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) new efforts to models of integration.

In February, CMS announced a new model of care to help connect adults with mental health conditions or substance use disorders (SUDs) to physical, behavioral and social supports by prioritizing a collaborative care model between physical and behavioral health providers.

While CMS has moved to increase integrated care, Acadia is still waiting to hear more details.

“Some of the specific things that we’re looking at are: what will the care model look like? What will the funding model look like? What geographic participation do they have in mind?” Hunter said. “Overall, there seems to be a real focus on outpatient care, which we think will be exciting for our [comprehensive treatment center] CTC business, and certainly, on the PHP IOP front. But I think overall, we just need to see details of the program. It’s something that we’re optimistic about and would certainly like to participate in if, when the details come forth, it makes sense.”

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