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About Behavioral Health Integration

Guiding Principles & Indicators

  • Patients will receive comprehensive healthcare in their medical care settings, which will include attention to both physical and emotional health. Care will be offered by an integrated team consisting of a medical care provider, clinical staff, a care manager and on-site mental health clinician(s). 
  • Patients will receive services in the most appropriate setting possible, determined by patient preference and clinical need. The integrated care team will link patients to specialty behavioral health services in the community. Communication and coordination between medical and behavioral healthcare will lead to high-quality care.
  • The healthcare payment system will make integrated mental health services sustainable. Rules about how insurance companies and others pay for healthcare will be changed to remove current barriers to working together. This will include payment for care coordination.
Guiding Principles Indicators

1. The patient and family are the center of care

Improved patient clinical and functional outcomes and improved patient satisfaction

2. Level of intervention is matched to level of need

  • Standardized screening and assessment
Use of a standardized screening tool, linked to behavioral health assessment

3. Integrated practice

  • Well-functioning care team
  • Communication among primary care, behavioral health and care management
  • Coordination of care for patient and family
Regular team meetings
Improved provider and staff satisfaction
Improvements on the site self-assessment
Behavioral health specialist in each primary care practice
Care manager in each primary care practice
4. Biopsychosocial focus of care Use of health and behavior codes in billing

5. Access to specialty mental healthcare

  • Patient access to care
  • Brief, focused mental health interventions in primary care
  • Primary care provider access to consult
Time to third next available appointment for the behavioral health specialist in primary care
Improved provider satisfaction
Access to informal psychiatry consults
6. Sustainable model of behavioral healthcare in primary care Behavioral health professionals in primary care offices being reimbursed at a sustainable level
7. Links to community resources Primary care connections with NAMI and other community behavioral health resources


 Behavioral Health Integraton logo


MaineHealth's Impact Series - Mental Health Integration

Mental Health Integration
View the four-page report (.pdf)

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