Primary care physicians and nurses are no longer surprised with the response to this common question, “Are you feeling sad today?” Mental Health America position statement on integrated care indicates that almost 70% of people with poor mental health either do not seek professional help or do so only from their primary care clinician.  

Integrating behavioral health in primary care can lower costs, improve population health and improve patients’ adherence to treatment. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation compiled studies showing there is strong evidence for these positive outcomes. The compilation covers studies in urban and rural settings, studies with and without case management, and pediatric studies.

In addition, Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative and the Robert Graham Center study published late last year shows interdependence of PCMH and ACOs to impact population health, patient experience, and cost reduction. 

Gearing up to fully integrate behavioral health requires a roadmap. The University of Washington, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Division of Population Health offers this implementation guide along with case studies, financing strategies, and a resource library. 

MedSpace Innovations can help as well.  Our modular walls, doors, flooring, and ceilings, combined with our self-contained vacuum plumbing system, allows for fast and cost-effective conversion of existing primary care space into behavioral health space.  We also partner with Whitehall Manufacturing, a leader in ligature-resistant fixtures for behavioral healthcare settings. Contact us to learn more.