Working with Providers in Underserved Areas to Integrate Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Better integration of physical and behavioral health is a critical component of improving outcomes and reducing costs for Medicaid beneficiaries, especially those with high levels of need. This fact sheet profiles four examples where the safety net community – health plans,
community health centers, community mental health centers, and the centers’ primary care and behavioral health clinicians – have collaborated to develop programs to integrate care for this population. The initiatives cover a wide range of activities, and include developing collaborative care models, requiring behavioral health needs assessments for all health plan members, providing mental health providers with information about primary care utilization of their patients, and supporting Medicaid health homes. There are fundamental similarities between the programs, and these principles can serve as a roadmap for community health centers and health plans jointly implementing their own integrated care models.

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