What is Integrated Care
What is Integrated Care?
People with mental and substance abuse disorders may die decades earlier than the average person — mostly from untreated and preventable chronic illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease that are aggravated by poor health habits such as inadequate physical activity, poor nutrition, smoking, and substance abuse. Barriers to primary care — coupled with challenges in navigating complex healthcare systems — have been a major obstacle to care.
At the same time, primary care settings have become the gateway to the behavioral health system, and primary care providers need support and resources to screen and treat individuals with behavioral and general healthcare needs.
The solution lies in integrated care, the systematic coordination of general and behavioral healthcare. Integrating mental health, substance abuse, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and proves the most effective approach to caring for people with multiple healthcare needs.
Whether services are organized via traditional models within primary care settings, behavioral health settings, or as Health Homes, CIHS gathers current developments, research, models, and other important resources to ensure the success of healthcare’s future: integration.
Check out the CIHS eSolutions article 100 Strong: Integration Continues to Grow and read more about the SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) grant program which has awarded more than 120 grants to organizations across the U.S. working to integrate primary and behavioral health services.
The webinar, Understanding Primary and Behavioral Healthcare Integration, hosted by the National Council, provides an overview of integration for the behavioral health and primary care fields.
Can We Live Longer? Integrated Healthcare’s Promise
View the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions’ new infographic
What is Integrated Care: Understanding Health Care Reform – Integrated Care and Why You Should Care from SAMHSA provides a detailed overview of the importance of integrated primary and behavioral healthcare.
CIHS’ Standard Framework for Levels of Integrated Healthcare helps primary care and behavioral health provider organizations improve outcomes by helping them understand where they are on the integration continuum. This six-level framework can be used for planning; creating a common language to discuss integration, progress, and financing; supporting assessment and benchmarking efforts; explaining integration efforts to stakeholders; and clarifying differences in vision between two or more partnering organizations.
The AHRQ Lexicon for Asking Practice and Research Development Questions defines integration as a practice team of primary care and behavioral health clinicians working together with patients and families, using a systematic and cost-effective approach to provide patient-centered care for a defined population. This care may address mental health and substance abuse conditions, health behaviors (including their contribution to chronic medical illnesses), life stressors and crises, stress-related physical symptoms, and ineffective patterns of health care utilization.
A Family Tree of Related Terms in Use in the Field of Collaborative Care provides a common dictionary for integration and related concepts.
CalMEND developed Integration of Mental Health, Substance Use, and Primary Care Services: Embracing Our Values from a Client and Family Member Perspective (Volume 1) to address integrated care from the client and family member perspective. It is the first comprehensive paper offering this perspective; it also addresses consumer values and emerging learning related to whole health.
The National Council’s 2003 background paper, Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration Models, Competencies, and Infrastructure, provides an overview of integration and proposes a conceptual model for how behavioral and physical health services can be integrated to improve services for consumers and achieve improved health outcomes.