An Examination of New York’s Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care Services for People with Serious Mental Illness
April 22, 2013
Outside New York State
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Adults with serious mental illness have a wide range of medical, behavioral, social, and other service needs; consequently, comprehensive care for this population may be improved by a system of care in which providers of multiple types work together to ensure that all of these needs are met.
Several major initiatives have been designed in New York to target the health care challenges of adults with mental illness: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) program, the New York State Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) physical health incentive program, and Medicaid health homes. Understanding the benefits and challenges of each approach is critical for improving access to and the quality of primary care for adults with serious mental illness. NYHealth awarded a grant to the RAND Corporation (RAND) to explore the shared and distinctive features of these community behavioral health center-based integrated care programs; the policies that facilitate or impede implementation, operation, and sustainability; and innovations in mental health clinics’ approaches to integrated care.
Under this grant, RAND explored the shared and distinctive features of community behavioral health center-based integrated care programs in New York State; the policies that facilitate or impede implementation, operation, and sustainability; and which innovations in integrated care are developing or already operating in New York State. It conducted site visits to characterize approaches to integrated care through facility tours, interviews with key program staff, and interviews with patients. It also fielded a Web-based survey of integrated care staff at all State PBHCI clinics and a varied sample of OMH sites, as well as reported back on the findings from the site visits and surveys. RAND produced a formal report that provides context for decision-makers and policymakers to understand the results of the assessment. NYHealth and RAND also convened a forum to share the project findings and to facilitate discussion about next steps to better integrate primary care and behavioral health care for patients with serious mental illness.
Read an accompanying issue brief highlighting key findings from the report.