bi3’s latest Learning Series Paper, “Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care,” is earning national recognition.
Primary care providers at TriHealth—grant-making initiative bi3’s partner integrated health care delivery system in Cincinnati, Ohio—have long identified mental health as a key focus area for improving adult patient care. Change is hampered by the fact that there is often no clear referral path for patients due to a lack of mental health providers and other barriers to access, and even with a successful referral, there may be little communication between the patient’s providers, further limiting options.
In response, in 2015, bi3, awarded a $3.3 million grant to TriHealth to develop a patient-centered approach to integrating behavioral health into primary care practices.
Now, Health Affairs — the leading journal of health policy thought and research on health reform, health care costs, and health system innovations — has shared our findings of how the approach can work on their GrantWatch blog, highlighting the initiative’s key successes:
- Patients showed improved mental and physical health scores.
- 95 percent of participating primary care physicians reported increased job satisfaction and improved ability to meet their patients’ needs.
- Patient access to same-day behavioral health visits was shown to be one of the most beneficial components of integrated behavioral health.
Today, TriHealth continues to build its capacity to make these services available at each of its 38 primary care practices by 2022. The increased adoption and reimbursement of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for successful, sustainable implementation of integrated services.