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Red, blue faces Treatment in an outpatient setting, leads to fewer emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations, decreasing costs by up to $1,377 per person in one year. (Image: Shutterstock)

When it comes to the cost of behavioral health care, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.

Treatment in an outpatient setting, such as a psychologist’s office or virtual visits, leads to fewer emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations, decreasing costs by up to $1,377 per person in one year and up to $3,109 per person over two years, according to research by Evernorth, Cigna Corporation’s health services business.

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