bi3’s new Learning Series Paper “Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care” highlights TriHealth’s timely journey to new model
Each year, millions of adults seek help for behavioral health concerns. We expect those numbers to grow even further as we are already seeing evidence of increased demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Often, primary care providers are the first stop for patients; however, providers may lack the resources to provide the care patients need. In many cases, there is no clear referral path for patients due to the limited number of mental health providers and other barriers to access, adding to the growing concern that current systems are not ready to handle a likely surge resulting from the pandemic.
While challenging, a new model integrating behavioral health into primary care practices offers a solution.
In 2015, bi3 awarded a $3.3 million grant to TriHealth to develop a patient-centered approach to integrate behavioral health into primary care practices. During the grant period:
- Patients showed improved mental and physical health scores.
- 95 percent of participating primary care physicians reported increased job satisfaction and improved ability to meet patient needs.
- Patient access to same-day visits was shown to be one of the most beneficial components of integrated behavioral health.
TriHealth continues to build its capacity to make these services available at each of its primary care practices by 2022. Further, the increased adoption and reimbursement of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic paves the way for successful, sustainable implementation.
We are sharing how this new care model works in our just released Learning Series Paper, “Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care.”
Thank you to TriHealth’s leadership and team members for their commitment to serving the behavioral health needs of its patients. Our deepest appreciation to TriHealth’s Will Groneman for championing this change in 2015 and to Julie Geiler, Project Grants Administrator, for her contribution to this Learning Series Paper and her thoughtful and passionate leadership of TriHealth’s Behavioral Health Integration Project.
President, Bethesda Inc.