Primary Care


RAND Corporation

Funding Area

Primary Care


September 15, 2014


This RAND Corporation report, funded by NYHealth, examines several approaches that New York State community mental health centers have taken to improve the integration of behavioral health and primary care services for adults with serious mental illness.

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. The integration of primary medical and mental health services is central to achieving improved patient care and outcomes.

The report characterizes, compares, and contrasts three integrated care initiatives operating in the State: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration grants program; New York State Office of Mental Health’s Medicaid incentives for health monitoring and health physicals; and New York’s Medicaid health homes. Specifically, the report:

• Outlines the shared and distinctive features of the three initiatives’ approaches to integrated care for adults with serious mental illness;

• Examines the policies and strategies that facilitate or impede the implementation, operation, and sustainability of each program type and for integrated care overall;

• Explores innovations in mental health clinics’ approaches to integrated care; and

• Provides recommendations to policymakers, health care providers, and technical assistance providers to improve and further develop integrated care for adults with serious mental illness.

Read the accompanying issue brief highlighting key findings from the report.

On October 6, 2014, NYHealth hosted a conversation with Dr. Harold Pincus to discuss potential policy and economic strategies New York State might embrace to build upon its initial work to better integrate physical and behavioral health care and address some of the key challenges to care coordination. Watch a video, view slides, and read a summary of the event, “Behavioral Health and Delivery System Reform: A Conversation with Harold Pincus.”