National Academies Address Integrated Behavioral Health in Primary Care


The Forum on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) hosted a virtual public workshop on primary care approaches to delivering essential components of care for people with mental health and substance use disorders. Due to COVID-19, the workshop was held virtually via webinars on June 3, July 29, and August 26, 2020.

The workshop featured invited presentations and panel discussions on topics that included:

  • Essential components of care in the primary care setting for people with mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Opportunities to build the healthcare workforce and delivery models that incorporate the essential components of care.
  • Financial incentives and payment structures to support the implementation of the care models, including value-based payment strategies.
  • Potential policy measures to ensure broad adoption and sustainability of the care models and payment structures.
  • Data needed to monitor implementation and address key knowledge gaps.

Among the workshop presenters were two members of the National Integration Academy Council (NIAC), Frank Verloin deGruy III, M.D., MSFM, Chair; and Parinda Khatri, Ph.D. These experts, along with the many others who participated, provided an excellent overview of how far integrated behavioral health in primary care has come. They also addressed pitfalls and obstacles that need to be addressed and suggested strategies for going forward.

The Forum on Mental and Substance Use Disorders was convened by NASEM’s Health and Medicine Division. Information on the workshop, as well as links to all associated materials, including videos of the webinars, and the report are available.