A Brief History of the Integration of Behavioral Health in Primary Care

The Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) blog recently reprinted a post by Dr. Alexander Blount. Dr. Blount looks back to provide a brief review of the history of integration. Of the current state of integration he says:

“We have to keep reminding each other not to ask does integration work? Does the PCMH work? Can integration save money? We have to ask what form of integration works in what context? How are they doing the PCMH in what regulatory and payment environment so that it works? What sort of integration or care management program targeted at which patients, accounted [for] by looking at what parts of the system works financially?”

He ends by looking to the future, and focusing us on the real point, saying:

“Our current success and rapid development is great, but it is a movement that is much bigger than all of the pioneers now. We have to keep reminding ourselves that integrated primary care, or integrated behavioral health, or whatever else we call it, is not important. Better care for patients is important. If we keep our eyes always on that, integration will evolve and be durable for a long time.”