Integrating Primary Care into Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
November 13, 2023
Primary care is often a patient’s first and most regular point of contact with the health care system.
High-quality primary care provides ongoing, relationship-based care that meets the health needs and preferences of individuals, families, and communities, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It is a rare “win-win” in health care that improves individual and community health, enhances health equity, and saves money. Despite the benefits, too little is invested in primary care and too many New Yorkers, especially New Yorkers of color, have difficulty getting care when and where they need it. In 2023, NYHealth issued a Request for Proposals (RFP), “Primary Care: Expanding Access and Advancing Racial Health Equity,” to test replicable models to improve the accessibility, quality, and equity of primary care in regions across the State. NYHealth awarded the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services a grant to participate in this initiative.
Under this grant, the Jewish Board will integrate primary care services into its Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island to increase access to care and decrease care fragmentation for individuals with co-occurring primary care, mental health, and substance use disorder needs. It will embed primary care teams of clinicians and patient navigators to provide services like vaccinations and immunizations; diabetes, cardiovascular, hepatitis, and cancer screenings; medication management; health counseling; and family planning services. The Jewish Board will create and disseminate a framework on how to effectively and sustainably integrate primary care into CCBHCs to support other CCBHC agencies in meeting new regulations. It will also advocate for regulatory and funding changes to better enable primary care integration into CCBHCs.