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Integrated Care - Practice Issues
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The links below provide a solid background for psychologists and other mental health providers interested in both the in-depth thinking and the practical details involved in integrating mental health services with medical care.

1.      “Evolving Models of Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care”

Millbank Memorial Fund Reports
C. Collins, D.L. Hewson, R. Munger & T. Wade, May 2010

This is an excellent 60-page report that draws from a robust and developing body of literature on the field of collaborative and integrated care. There is already a vast amount of information about this area of practice and this report outlines some salient themes from the field with the goal of informing policymakers, planners and providers of physical and behavioral health care about the practical implications of integrating care. We consider the entire report “required reading” for psychologists interested in what integrated care is, the range of practice models, how the models are implemented, where psychologists fit in various model schemes and the financial considerations each entails.

(Link to summary)   (Link to full document)  

2.      “Integrated Health Care and Professional Psychology:  Is the Setting Right For You?”

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice
J.F. Kelly, H.L. Coons, December 2012

This article provides an insightful overview of the changes occurring in the delivery and management of health care services as the movement toward integrated care takes place. The authors, two board certified clinical health psychologists, distinguish the difference between providing services in integrated care and multidisciplinary care settings and between integrated primary care and integrated specialty care. They recommend engaging in careful self-assessment and self-study prior to taking on a position in an integrated care environment because the culture, language, pace, physical environment, patient population, payment structure, skill set for a wide range of ages and problems, necessary competencies and ethical considerations are all very different than those developed in traditional psychological training and practice. For psychologists serious about making the transition to an integrated care setting, the authors encourage spending 1-2 years to obtain the range of competencies necessary to function effectively and contribute to inter-professional team care in a physical medicine environment.  

 (Link to purchase article) 

3.      “The Evolution of Mental Health Care”

John Morrissey, October 2013 

Living under reform, with its emphasis on better outcomes at lower cost requires providers to prevent the crises that put people in emergency departments, keep them from falling so sick that they're hospitalized, and see to it that inpatients don't relapse after going home and land back in a hospital bed. A fundamental premise is that coordinated medical care and intense management of chronic illnesses will carry the day. But that's not necessarily the case – unless what goes on inside patients' brains is as high a priority as what's happening to the rest of their bodies.

(Link to article)                                                                              

4.      Why Primary Care Needs Behavioral Health Services

Robert Graham Center, 2003 and 2008

The two links below underscore the connection between mental health issues and health care costs (March 2008), and the important role that family physicians play in the delivery of mental health services (April 2003).

(Link to 2003 article)   (Link to 2008 article) 

5.      SAHMSA-HRSA:  Core Competencies For Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care

Center for Integrated Health Solutions

This document is important to both clinicians and administrators. It presents the results of a joint project by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which charged the Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS; www. to identify and disseminate core competencies on integrated practice relevant to behavioral health and primary care providers. The development of these competencies was performed by the Annapolis Coalition on the Behavioral Health Workforce (www. under the auspices of CIHS.

  (Link to report) 

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