Integration of Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Setting


A 2019 journal article, published by Pediatrics, describes the structure and process of, as well as patient experience outcomes in, 13 pediatric practices enrolled in a behavioral health integration program (BHIP) in Massachusetts. The program provided indepth behavioral health education, on-demand psychiatric consultations, operational support for practice transformation, and onsite behavioral health services. Findings suggest that integrating behavioral health in the pediatric care setting can improve access to quality behavioral health services and avoid substantial increases in cost.1

A related blog from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highlights the importance of the study, as well as programs, such as BHIP, that help strengthen the evidence base for integrated behavioral health services. AAP has also developed other resources for integrating behavioral healthcare in pediatric settings, including a two-part series of guidelines on adolescent depression:


1 Walter HJ, Vernacchio L, Trudell EK, Bromberg J, Goodman E, Barton, Young GJ, DeMaso R, Focht G. Five-year outcomes of behavioral health integration in pediatric primary care. Pediatrics. 2019 Jul;144(1): e20183243. Accessed September 6, 2019.