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The Business Case for the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Abstract: This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health into primary care and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Community Health Center.


A central tenet of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model is holistic and comprehensive primary care. Primary care providers have always known that behavioral health is a major public health issue and a primary or co-morbid diagnosis of many of the patients seen by the primary care team. The literature suggests that the incidence of depression as a comorbidity with chronic disease ranges from 24% to 40% in a normalized population. Health Centers that have implemented universal screening of their chronically ill patients are finding the incidence as high as 70%. Unfortunately, reimbursement for behavioral health related conditions has been fragmented and structural barriers (such as regulatory guidelines precluding billing for a behavioral visit on the same day as a primary care visit when providers use the same provider number) have resulted in a lack of integration of behavioral health services and primary care. This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Health Center. 


This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health into primary care and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Community Health Center.

Need to make the case for behavioral healthcare integration to your finance or leadership team? Use this excel tool to build a sample business case for behavioral health integration.

Additional resources and other key teachings from the 2013 NACHC led Behavioral Health Learning Community can be found here.

Tags: Financing

Call Our Helpline: 202.684.7457

The Business Case for the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Abstract: This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health into primary care and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Community Health Center.


A central tenet of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model is holistic and comprehensive primary care. Primary care providers have always known that behavioral health is a major public health issue and a primary or co-morbid diagnosis of many of the patients seen by the primary care team. The literature suggests that the incidence of depression as a comorbidity with chronic disease ranges from 24% to 40% in a normalized population. Health Centers that have implemented universal screening of their chronically ill patients are finding the incidence as high as 70%. Unfortunately, reimbursement for behavioral health related conditions has been fragmented and structural barriers (such as regulatory guidelines precluding billing for a behavioral visit on the same day as a primary care visit when providers use the same provider number) have resulted in a lack of integration of behavioral health services and primary care. This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Health Center. 


This monograph addresses the business case for integration of behavioral health into primary care and provides guidance on how to evaluate this business case at an individual Community Health Center.

Need to make the case for behavioral healthcare integration to your finance or leadership team? Use this excel tool to build a sample business case for behavioral health integration.

Additional resources and other key teachings from the 2013 NACHC led Behavioral Health Learning Community can be found here.

Tags: Financing

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