All Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ products and services center on delivery of and/or financial support for the integration of medical and behavioral health services in medical settings, especially for comorbid medical patients with treatment resistance and high health costs. Since financing and delivery go hand in hand, many Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ clients capitalize on its expertise in both areas so that, to the extent possible, recommended integrated value-added services are financially sustainable.
Incorporated in 1997, Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ has nearly 20 years experience consulting to diverse clients, including businesses, state and federal government agencies, health plans, and accountable provider systems (hospitals, clinics, and health professionals) that are responsible for health and cost outcomes of constituent populations. Its services began largely as an outgrowth of the integrated clinical care that Dr. Kathol, founder and President of Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™, provided during 22 years of practice at the University of Iowa. Initial consultations were designed to assist hospitals and clinics set up integrated inpatient and outpatient programs that improved health and reduced cost (added value) in their medical settings.
Between 2000 and 2003, Dr. Kathol was hired to integrate medical and behavioral health business practices at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSMN). After completing that assignment in 2003, Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ expanded its client base and service offerings to include integration services and products for government agencies, businesses, and health plans. Knowledge gained from the perspective of purchasers (government agencies and businesses) and those that paid for the care delivered (government agencies and health plans) while working for the insurance industry clarified the important contribution that financing for care has on the ability to deliver and economically sustain medical and behavioral health integration.
While working for BCBSMN, Dr. Kathol also developed an appreciation for the value that assist and support services (case management, wellness programs, etc.) could add to standard clinical care. Thus, between 2003 and 2008, he linked his expertise
- In integrated care financing and delivery,
- In value-added features of assist and support services, and
- In findings from health complexity research performed by academic colleagues in Europe
by co-authoring The Integrated Case Management (ICM) Manual (Springer Publ, 2010). Since 2010, more than a thousand case managers have received adult and/or pediatric ICM training using this text and over 10 regional and national organizations have deployed health improving and cost saving components inherent in core ICM principles and practices. Drs. Kathol, Hobbs-Knutson, and Dehnel will soon publish a complementary text, Physician’s Guide: Understanding and Working with Integrated Case Managers, (Springer, 2016) which will be used to train clinicians in maximizing the value that ICM mangers bring to their patients.
Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ has experienced an increase in interest in its unique high intensity integrated care products and services since passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Recent findings by Milliman, Inc. indicate that the financial impact from the interaction of behavioral and medical conditions, especially in the medical setting, accounts for a third of the total health budget (see Table). Whether clients are businesses, government agencies, health plans, or accountable provider systems, all contribute to the now indisputable poor health outcomes and substantially higher costs associated with ineffectively addressed behavioral health care in medical settings. All also wish to capitalize on the potential for savings in their segment of the health care industry by incorporating new, previously unconsidered, changes in core business practices related to the delivery of or financing for value-added behavioral health services in medical settings. Cartesian Solutions, Inc.™ provides the expertise to accomplish this task.