Integration of Mental Health Services in Pediatric Care
Special Projects Fund
November 2, 2012
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
Pediatricians and family physicians are often the initial points of contact for children’s health problems.
Recognizing that mental health issues are often a top concern, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the New York State Academy of Family Physicians have advocated for the integration of mental health treatment for youth into the primary care setting as an efficient and cost-effective model to deliver this service. In 2011, South Oaks Hospital received a planning grant from NYHealth to develop a model focusing on the integration of mental health services for pediatric patients. With additional support from NYHealth, South Oaks Hospital implemented the integration model at its facilities and evaluated the implementation process.
Under this grant, South Oaks Hospital provided short-term support for therapists to be co-located with and integrated into primary care practices. South Oaks also assessed the physician practices’ workflows to determine the best way to deliver mental health services to pediatric patients and their families, and engaged insurance providers in negotiations to help optimize revenue. South Oaks also initiated collaboration with the Family Service League, one of Long Island’s largest providers of outpatient behavioral health services. Family Service League embedded a staff member in every South Oaks primary care office, allowing for better supervision, communication, and general oversight of the initiative, as well as backup behavioral health staff to ensure that resources were available during the implementation process.