Contracts & MOUs
Contracts and MOUs
As community-based primary and behavioral health care providers come together to better meet patient needs by integrating services and sharing staff, there are practical considerations such as contracting and partnership agreements that will help community health organizations transform from clinical models of integration into truly integrated practices. CIHS regularly shares useful resources for community providers to draw upon when entering supportive relationships.
Assessing and Addressing Legal Barriers to the Clinical Integration of Community Health Centers and Other Community Providers from the Commonwealth Fund outlines the laws and policies that govern health center collaborations, and includes profiles of health centers that have developed partnerships that benefit patients while still adhering to the centers’ core mission and requirements.
The National Council for Behavioral Health’s Enhancing the Continuum of Care: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care through Affiliations with FQHCs guides the development of affiliation agreements among partnering community behavioral health providers and FQHCs.
The Do's and Don'ts of Contracting for Behavioral Health Services from the National Association of Community Health Centers provides information for community health centers to procure behavioral health services from other community-based providers, including the definition and key elements of a procurement (or “purchase of services”) contract; specific federal requirements and standards that must be observed when executing a procurement arrangement; and common contractual terms that should be included in all agreements.
The National Council Magazine article “Health Integration — Are You Covered?” discusses practical ways to ensure primary care services are covered in behavioral healthcare settings.
Contract and MOU Examples
Well-crafted contracts and agreements can help provider organizations enter supportive relationships; sample documents include:
A Memo of Understanding between community behavioral health centers and primary care clinics for integrated projects
A Partnership Agreement for community behavioral health centers and FQHCs (Federally-Qualified Health Center)
- An Affiliation Agreement between community behavioral health centers and FQHCs
Legal Aspects of Integration
Presented by Carrie Bill, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP