Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Project 3.a.i. Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health Services

Alliance staff contact: Kristen Scholl | 518.701.2281

Objective: Integration of mental health and substance abuse with primary care services to ensure coordination of care.

Project Description: Integration of behavioral health and primary care services can serve: 1) to identify behavioral health diagnoses early, allowing rapid treatment; 2) to ensure treatments for medical and behavioral health conditions are compatible and do not cause adverse effects; and 3) to de-stigmatize treatment for behavioral health diagnoses. Care for all conditions delivered under one roof by known healthcare providers is the goal of this project. The project goal can be achieved by: 1) integration of behavioral health specialists into primary care clinics using the collaborative care model and supporting the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model; or 2) integration of primary care services into established behavioral health sites such as clinics and crisis centers.

Definition of Engaged Patients: The total number of patients engaged in each of the three models in this project, including:  A. PCMH/APC Service Site – Number of patients receiving appropriate preventive care screenings that include mental health/SA; B. Behavioral Health Site – Number of patients receiving primary care services at a participating mental health or substance abuse site.

Project Requirements:

Model 1:

  • Co-locate behavioral health services at primary care practice sites. All participating primary care practices must meet 2014 NCQA level 3 PCMH or Advance Primary Care Model standards by DY 3.
  • Develop collaborative evidence-based standards of care including medication management and care engagement process.
  • Conduct preventive care screenings, including behavioral health screenings (PHQ-2 or 9 for those screening positive, SBIRT) implemented for all patients to identify unmet needs.
  • Use electronic health records (EHRs) or other technical platforms to track all patients engaged in this project.
    Model 2:
  • Co-locate primary care services at behavioral health sites.
  • Develop collaborative evidence-based standards of care including medication management and care engagement process.
  • Conduct preventive care screenings, including behavioral health screenings (PHQ-2 or 9 for those screening positive, SBIRT) implemented for all patients to identify unmet needs.
  • Use EHRs or other technical platforms to track all patients engaged in this project.