Health

UHS’s Marc Miller talks behavioral care in the context of deprivation


Modern Healthcare reporters delve deeply into industry leaders who stand out and make a difference in their organization or field. We listen to Marc Miller, president and chief executive officer of Universal Health Services, as he discusses the health system’s recent partnership with General Catalyst and efforts to increase access to care behavioral health care.

Universal Health Services recently announced a partnership with venture capital firm General Catalyst. Why do you think this is a necessary action to take?

General Catalyst has made it a priority over the past five to seven years to use its many skill sets to try and deliver improvements to healthcare, particularly behavioral health and mental health. . It’s a natural thing for us [to partner]. We started talking to their team years ago to see what we could do [together] as they strive to be as innovative as possible in an area that previously lacked innovation.

How much disruption does it take to happen through these types of external partnerships?

A large number, because obviously without outside experts involved, we wouldn’t be able to do it on our own. In healthcare and in the hospital industry, we have made small strides over the years. But to really advance [innovation] the way we want, we need outside help.

For us, catching up on the fundamentals is much more important than [seeing] significant disruption.

UHS’s behavioral health footprint spans 39 states, plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the UK. What strategies has the system implemented to increase access to behavioral care?

We can’t be physically everywhere. That’s why some of our other efforts, such as telehealth, are so important and growing. We’ve been in telehealth operations for over 20 years, but we keep trying and doubling down on those efforts. We are partnering with more people who are improving telemedicine opportunities for behavioral health. This includes General Catalyst, which is doing some great things with technology and telehealth.

Additionally, we’re working with some of the largest nonprofit acute care systems in the country to see how we can work with them and try to reduce some of the stressors. behavior they encounter. These can be things they may not be equipped to do on their own. This could involve partnering with existing operations, building new hospitals in their communities, or just trying to find areas of need where we can help.

Given your significant behavioral health presence in the UK, how does the market there compare to the market in the US?

They are very different, as you can imagine. What happens in the UK is just day and night compared to what we have in the US, both in the acute care and behavioral health spaces. In terms of behavioral health, the government has been looking for outside operators, such as ourselves, to come and help.

One of the biggest differences is that there are many long-term patients in the UK, while we don’t have that here. Our stay in the US can be as short as five days, while there are many situations in the UK where we have patients who have been in a facility for a year or two. The way we treat the patient relationship is very different in that case.

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