integrated care tagged posts

Would Ending Siloed Health Care Improve Patient Outcomes?

David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health
Mayo Clinic Rochester Minnesota
We acknowledge the collaboration of National Network of Depression Centers in developing this series.

In my last post, I shared how people can become both engaged in and influence the quality of their mental health care. However, even more quality gains can be had by integrating the delivery of mental health care into the primary care setting.

Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked and should not be treated in isolation...

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Should We Screen Middle and High School Students for Mental Health Disorders?

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90% of youth who die by suicide suffer from a treatable mental illness. 

65% experience symptoms for a full year prior to their death.

When we identify kids at risk, we can save lives.

Over 10 years ago, President George Bush accepted The New Freedom Commission on Mental Health recommendation that the federal and state governments work to implement broader access for youth mental health screenings as a matter of public health.  While we are still waiting for federal assistance, local organizations are taking up the challenge and offering free mental health screenings to middle and high school age students. One of those organizations, Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI) has been quietly running a mental health screening program, Youth Screen, in Chicago-area schools since 2007.

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How Can We Improve Timely Access to Mental Health Care Services?

Shortage of mental health care providers

In Tuesday’s expert perspective, Dr. David Baron provided insights into innovative treatment models that have been implemented throughout the country. These models range from rural areas in West Virginia to large urban cities such as Philadelphia and seek to provide broader access to mental health services. At first blush it might appear that these two geographic locations have little in common in regards to access to mental health care...

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Five Web Resources on Integrated Care

pcmhOn Tuesday, our Expert Perspective advocated for integrated care. Integrated primary and behavioral health care attempts to mold the care system to the whole individual, thereby increasing access to health services by making them more convenient and increasing the quality of care by requiring better communication, coordination, and collaboration among health care providers.

Resources on Integrated Care

To help you learn more about integrated care, we’ve compiled some of the web’s best available resources:

  1. The National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors wrote of integrated care as being the key to bringing together mind and body.
  2. SAMHSA provides a lot of information in their webinar, Integrating Behavioral Health into the Person-Centered Healthcare Home.
  3. You can also see how, even five years ago, agencies in the federal government were involved in integration of primary care and mental health care.

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Will integrated care provide you with better care?

Laura Galbreath, M.P.P., Director
SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, National Council for Behavioral Health

galbreathWalk into a community behavioral health or health center right now and you’ll probably see posters about this great new health care approach called integration. What is integration, though? And what does it look like?

As our health care system strives to improve patient health outcomes, improve the quality of care, and make care affordable, a collective light bulb has gone off. To achieve these three aims—known by the phrase “the triple aim”—we have to recognize and treat people’s physical and emotional health, and that means changing how we deliver care. Integration is one approach receiving a lot of attention for its promise to achieve these aims.

When my friends and family ask what integration is, I explain it like this: Integration improves access to mental health and addictions treatment by making that care a routine part of a visit to primary care, whether at the lowest level of integration (improved communication among providers) or the highest (a merged practice that includes both medical and mental health services). Integration also improves the quality of recovery by addressing the physical health care needs of people with mental illnesses and addictions.

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Beyond the ACA, Part One: Make Mental Health Part of Overall Health

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Directors

Without access to care, sustained recovery is not possible.Ron Manderscheid

That’s why each opportunity to break through barriers to access is critically important. When access to care becomes universal, millions of people with mental conditions who don’t get care today will get care. That care will be grounded in evidence-based practices and focused on the whole person, not a diagnosis.

Problems will be caught early; symptoms will be mitigated early in their course. And, ultimately, we can help make recovery not a potential outcome, but rather the expectation.

But change doesn’t happen overnight. Overcoming barriers to behavioral health care access requires persistent action and effort to target and sustain new ways of framing, delivering, and sustaining services and supports.

Behavioral health is part of overall health.

Slowly but surely, policy makers and researchers are reuniting brain and body in their thinking. That reunion has begun to help break down barriers to access, reduce the stigma that still surrounds mental health problems, and promote prevention and early opportunities for intervention. And it’s about time!

But to create an environment in which access is open to all, that policy and research reunion needs to be matched by a comparable reunion in program and practice. A number of structural changes—each an opportunity for our action and advocacy—can become the building blocks for full access to behavioral health care as part of overall health care.

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Once in the Door: What the ACA Does for You

Ron Manderscheid, Ph.D.
Executive Director, NACBHDD

Ron Manderscheid

Earlier this week, I outlined seven ways that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) helps get individuals with mental health conditions in the door to access mental health services.

Today, I’ll examine the ways in which the ACA helps individuals retain access and benefit from individualized, consumer-centered care and services.

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