Behavioral health conditions affect nearly one in four Americans and often co-occur with other health problems. Unfortunately these conditions often go untreated due to stigma, lack of detection, and lack of access to appropriate services. In order to serve more patients in need while improving quality and cost efficiency, many health systems have looked toward integrating behavioral health and primary care services. This brief explores some of the key barriers and subsequent solutions to successful behavioral health and primary care integration in essential hospitals.
- Behavioral health and primary care integration is an important way to reach vulnerable populations by increasing access, reducing stigma of behavioral health issues, and increasing efficiency for care providers.
- There are many different ways to integrate behavioral health and primary care services. Care models should be chosen according to provider settings, patient populations, and available resources.
- Key considerations for integrating care include leadership buy-in, effective staffing, outcomes tracking, and adequate financial structures.