What Can You Do With A Health Promotion Degree?

Health promotion aims to enrich the health of individuals through awareness in environmental factors, education, and behavior. Health promotion can be described as a way to positively guide the psychological, environmental, biological, and physical health of individuals and communities. Health promotion can include behavior, skills, attitudes, and health knowledge. By being educated on this topic, individuals can help prevent disease and increase their quality of life through behavior changes. Through education and prevention, individuals may reduce financial costs for themselves, employers, and what insurance companies might spend for medical treatment.

Individuals working in the health field may be responsible to administer the following tasks: construct social marketing and mass media campaigns, organize community action, conduct research for scholarly articles, and assess, develop and implement health education programs. Workers may also be responsible for writing grants and advocating for community needs.

Those considering earning a degree in health promotion should be interested in issues in fitness and wellness and the health of others. They should want to advocate for healthy living and come up with creative ideas for healthy lifestyle changes. A career in promoting healthy living could include helping individuals manage and treat stress, physical inactivity, substance and alcohol abuse, insufficient nutrition, and unsafe sexual activity. In this field, workers may be responsible for offering behavior change suggestions, and setting realistic goals for their clients, and following up on medical screenings and appointments. Students may be suited for careers in hospital programs, fitness programs, government and nonprofit health agencies, hospitals, and schools. Those with a degree in health promotion may also be qualified to be a personal health coach, work in a health and wellness center, or in a pregnancy facility or program.

Promoting health goes a step beyond health education by requiring intensive-specific study. Students may take classes in stress management, anatomy and physiology, and health management. Those in this field may be employed through schools by teaching a health class, or working in health services to promote a healthy lifestyle for students. Colleges may hire individuals with a degree in health promotion to teach a course, promote community organizing, or train peers in disease prevention. Individuals deciding to pursue a health degree may take foundational courses such as nutrition, psychology, biology, and statistics. Through studying health education and promotion, participants should be able to help other improve their own wellness in order to live a longer and more satisfying life.

Peculiarities of Behavioral Health Jobs

Working with individuals in behavioral health jobs has its advantages and disadvantages. Many different job opportunities exist in this area, but there are a wide range of disorders, illnesses, and situations which those employed in the health sector must deal with on a regular basis. Perhaps the best thing that anyone who’s employed in this field can do for themselves is take a step back, realize that you’re truly helping those who need assistance, and be prepared for anything that comes.

Dealing with Behaviors:
One of the peculiarities of jobs in behavioral health is working with and dealing with a variety of behaviors. For example, working with young children means that you may be exposed to autism spectrum disorders, behavioral conduct disorders, and a wide range of other issues common to youth. Exposure to these types of problems inevitably leads to experiencing anger outbursts and communication problems just to name a couple issues.

Adult Disorders and Illnesses:
Aside from the issues found in young children and even adolescents, a major experience is dealing with peculiarities in behavioral health jobs working with adults. Adults can experience many different types of mental disorders and illnesses, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior or one of the many personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder. Depression and anxiety may lead to abnormal suicidal tendency behaviors which must be dealt with appropriately and personality disorders may lead you to confront a vast array of other symptoms from adults in your jobs in behavioral health, such as major mood swings and poor impulse control.

Another peculiarity that you may experience when working with children or adults, and especially on trauma units or in mental health treatment facilities, is the exacerbation of symptoms and behavioral problems during the full moon cycle. Though frequently dismissed as superstition, individuals in behavioral health jobs do, in fact, report that individuals with mental health and behavioral disorders do act worse around the time of a full moon.

Training Programs:
Fortunately, many training programs exist to help individuals overcome abnormal behaviors. In addition, these types of training programs enable you to work more effectively in behavioral health jobs as you have been taught proven techniques and methods for dealing with behavioral problems. For example, autism spectrum disorder specialists learn to work with kids on communication problems, conduct disorders, and relating to friends and family members.

Several mental health training programs also teach you about the different range of behaviors you’ll experience while working in behavioral careers as well as how to deal with them. For example, an associate’s degree in mental health technology and or other crisis management certificate enables you to resolve emergency situations with individuals experiencing severe depression and suicidal tendencies or thoughts. You’ll learn stress management techniques and how to diffuse an emergency situation among other things.

As you can see, there are many peculiarities and situations that you may have to deal with when working in behavioral health positions. However, many people experience great internal satisfaction by helping to resolve these types of problems and aiding those who need behavioral training or extra care. Attending a training program to further your education in one of these fields, though, gives you extra knowledge and the right skills needed to work successfully in behavioral health careers.

Financing to Support Coordination of Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services

In October 2003, the Health Resources and Services Administration issued Program Information Notice (PIN) 2004-05 regarding Medicaid Reimbursement for Behavioral Health Services. The PIN requires Medicaid agencies to reimburse Federally Qualified Health Centers and Regional Health Centers for behavioral health services provided by a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, clinical psychologist, or clinical social worker, whether or not those services are included in the state Medicaid plan. The PIN clarifies that “FQHC/RHC providers must be practicing within the scope of their practice under the state law.”

What might PIN 2004-05 mean for the Medicaid population? Categorically eligible Medicaid beneficiaries (e.g., TANF, aged/blind/disabled) may or may not be able to easily gain access to public mental health services, depending on definitions of target populations and medical necessity, which vary from state to state.

In states with public mental health systems that focus on populations with serious mental illness and serious emotional disturbance, PIN 2004-05 creates an opportunity for other Medicaid populations, with higher physical health and lower behavioral health risks, to obtain behavioral health services through a CHC. This is consistent with the HRSA initiative to reduce health disparities and create behavioral health capacity in CHCs. PIN 2004-05 helps to assure that safety net populations are served.

But what does PIN 2004-05 mean in terms of financing and the behavioral health services now provided to populations with serious mental illness? The answer varies from state to state because of differing Medicaid models. This variability requires every community partnership between a CHC and a CMHC to assess their specific financing and policy environment in order to identify a business model that will support integration activities. Such partnerships must develop policy direction that addresses the need for greater access to behavioral health services for the Medicaid population, without disadvantaging any populations now served by the public mental health system.

Learning from Pilot Sites:

“Depression in Primary Care: Linking Clinical and System Strategies” is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation national program to increase the effectiveness of depression treatment in primary care settings. The program charged its eight demonstration sites with addressing financial and structural issues as well as implementing clinical models. A special issue of Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research contains a series of resulting papers, some of which speak directly to the financial and policy barriers in the system.

The pilots reveal the commitment of sites around the country that continue to patch together funding because they believe in the integration approach. For example, in Washington State there is a partnership between the CMHC and the Federally Qualified Health Center, where the CMHC’s clinicians in the FQHC sites are financed by an annual golf tournament – hardly a sustainable model. The IMPACT trials, Depression in Primary Care project, state Medicaid pilot sites, and an Aetna project all identify similar components for financing:

– Screening

– Care management

– Psychiatric consultation

These are close to the components identified in the report of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which emphasized that there must be a relationship between mental health and general health. However, these service components are currently missing from public and private sector billing codes and financing policy. The challenge – for federal, state and private payors – will be to align financial/policy incentives to support clinical integration, which research demonstrates is effective in achieving positive outcomes.

Barbara Mauer is a nationally known expert in behavioral health and primary care integration. She has more than 15 years of experience in this field and is a managing consultant for MCPP Healthcare Consulting in Seattle as well as a National Council senior consultant. She offers consulting services to public and private sector health and human service organizations on integration as well as strategic planning, quality improvement, and project management. Mauer has authored many papers and books on behavioral health and primary care integration.

References 1. Proser, M., Shin, P., Hawkins, D., “A Nation’s Health At Risk III: Growing Uninsured, Budget Cutbacks Challenge President’s Initiative to Put a Health Center in Every Poor County”, National Association of Community Health Centers, www.nachc.com/research/

The Various Financing Options for Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral Health Services are some of the latest beneficiaries of reimbursement from Medicaid, which is acting under instructions from the Program Information Notice by the Health Resources and Services Administration. All nursing practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, clinical social workers and clinical psychologists, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide these services are entitled to reimbursement from Medicaid, which operates under the guidelines of the Program Information Notice, regardless of whether they the state Medicaid plan includes their services. However, these service providers must practice according to the state law in order to benefit from these guidelines.

Although the blind, disabled and aged people, who are the main beneficiaries of the Medicaid funding that is available for behavioral health services, may not have easy access to public health services that meet medical necessities by targeting populations, the Program Information Notice means a lot to them and the overall Medicaid population. This is because it varies from one state to another.

Although CHC offers behavioral health services to Medicaid populations that have lower behavioral health and higher physical health risks, the Program Information Notice is the overall financier in all states that have public health systems whose focus is on populations that have serious emotional problems and mental illnesses since it has the ability to create opportunities for other Medicaid populations. The Program Information Notice serves to assure net populations of their safety by ensuring consistencies between CHCs and HRSA initiatives, which are essential for the creation of behavioral health capacities and the reduction of disparities in the provision of health services.

Medicaid models,which are different in each state, have numerous financing implications for the Behavioral Health Services that populations with various illnesses receive since their differences make is possible for CHC, CMHC and every community partnership with them to identify business models that provide the necessary support for their integration activities by assessing their specific policy and financing environments.

The aforementioned partnerships enable the Medicaid population to access behavioral health services easily since they are largely responsible for the development of policy directions that deal directly with the access to these services without harming or excluding any populations that receive their services from the public health system.

The Program Information Notice,which has a responsibility to implement and address the structural and financial issues of the various clinical models, plays a vital role in helping to make the treatment for depression more effective especially in primary care settings hence its special link to Clinical and System Strategies.

Although some resulting papers from special issues of Administration and Policy Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research provide useful information about the various policy and financial barriers that exist in the system, the Program Information Notice provides a different integration approach. Consequently, it has proven to be more effective in patching together various sources of funding.

State Medicaid pilot sites seek to find similar financing components even though the Federally Qualified Health Center and CMHC have a partnership that has a sustainable model for financing CMHC clinicians in through the various FQHC sites.

The Various Financing Options for Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral Health Services are some of the latest beneficiaries of reimbursement from Medicaid, which is acting under instructions from the Program Information Notice by the Health Resources and Services Administration. All nursing practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, clinical social workers and clinical psychologists, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide these services are entitled to reimbursement from Medicaid, which operates under the guidelines of the Program Information Notice, regardless of whether they the state Medicaid plan includes their services. However, these service providers must practice according to the state law in order to benefit from these guidelines.

Although the blind, disabled and aged people, who are the main beneficiaries of the Medicaid funding that is available for behavioral health services, may not have easy access to public health services that meet medical necessities by targeting populations, the Program Information Notice means a lot to them and the overall Medicaid population. This is because it varies from one state to another.

Although CHC offers behavioral health services to Medicaid populations that have lower behavioral health and higher physical health risks, the Program Information Notice is the overall financier in all states that have public health systems whose focus is on populations that have serious emotional problems and mental illnesses since it has the ability to create opportunities for other Medicaid populations. The Program Information Notice serves to assure net populations of their safety by ensuring consistencies between CHCs and HRSA initiatives, which are essential for the creation of behavioral health capacities and the reduction of disparities in the provision of health services.

Medicaid models,which are different in each state, have numerous financing implications for the Behavioral Health Services that populations with various illnesses receive since their differences make is possible for CHC, CMHC and every community partnership with them to identify business models that provide the necessary support for their integration activities by assessing their specific policy and financing environments.

The aforementioned partnerships enable the Medicaid population to access behavioral health services easily since they are largely responsible for the development of policy directions that deal directly with the access to these services without harming or excluding any populations that receive their services from the public health system.

The Program Information Notice,which has a responsibility to implement and address the structural and financial issues of the various clinical models, plays a vital role in helping to make the treatment for depression more effective especially in primary care settings hence its special link to Clinical and System Strategies.

Although some resulting papers from special issues of Administration and Policy Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research provide useful information about the various policy and financial barriers that exist in the system, the Program Information Notice provides a different integration approach. Consequently, it has proven to be more effective in patching together various sources of funding.

State Medicaid pilot sites seek to find similar financing components even though the Federally Qualified Health Center and CMHC have a partnership that has a sustainable model for financing CMHC clinicians in through the various FQHC sites.