It is estimated that as many as 70% of all visits to primary care are the result of psychosocial issues (Robinson and Reiter, 2007*). Studies strongly suggest that underlying behavior problems (mental health and substance abuse) play a major role in the physical complaints that clients present as the reason for these visits. Most primary care practices are not properly staffed or organized to respond effectively to these clients.
There are many physical health disorders and problems where psychological factors contribute significantly to treatment outcomes (e.g., asthma, smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, chronic pain). Most primary practices are not properly staffed or organized to provide clients with the behavioral supports and interventions that they need to achieve effective management of these conditions.
IBHI and its nationally recognized partners are prepared to assist primary care practices as well as CCOs to integrate behavioral health services and expertise into their processes of delivering care and managing their businesses.
Our most recent primary care integration efforts have been with the Benton County Health Center (BCHC). On August 1, 2014 IBHI began providing technical assistance to BCHC in implementing a two year, $470,000 HRSA grant. As the grant's Project Coordinator, IBHI is responsibile for organizing the project; providing training to BCHC's four Behaviorists; and consulting with the staff of BCHC's four clinics to assist with the redesign of their day to day operations. Additional trainings are being provided through a host of nationally recognized experts.
Our approach to assisting primary care practices with integration, reflected in our logo, represents an evidence-based philosophy:
Engaging clients, where they are at, both literally (at the PCP's office) and psychologically, is essential for motivating clients to be active participants in their healthcare. Engaged and activated clients are open to making behavior changes which positively impact their health and well-being. For those with behavioral health illnesses, engagement and activation are the foundations of recovery.
Transforming a primary care practice to achieve these objectives is much easier said than done. Contact IBHI today to learn more about the services we have available to assist you in fully integrating behavioral health into your practice.
To learn about our most recent integration work with primary care, read a Lund Report article that describes a winning HRSA grant award we helped to write and then implement.
*Robinson and Reiter (2007). Behavioral Consultation and Primary Care: a Guide to Integrating Services, Chapter 15, "Evaluating your service"