The New York Health Foundation, through its Advancing Primary Care Initiative, recently funded a report by the RAND Corporation to examine the strategies used by New York State Community Mental Health Centers to improve integration of behavioral health and primary care services for adults with serious mental illness (SMI). The 3 integrated care initiatives operating in the State system include:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’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.
The three models are characterized, compared, and contrasted in the report.
The purpose of undertaking this project
“was to generate information that will help state policymakers streamline the adoption of strategies for improving the overall wellness and physical health status of people with serious mental illness by making primary medical services available in, or coordinated by, staff in settings where the population already receives mental health care.”
According to the most recent National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Report, those with SMI account for only about 3.6 percent of the total population in New York State. However, they have significant behavioral health and medical problems, and require a broad range of services. Integrated behavioral health care and primary care is an important strategy for seeing that those needs are met.
For more information on the NY State perspective on integrated care, see the Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care at: Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration—The New York State Perspective