PCPCC Report Notes Behavioral Health is a Fundamental Component to the PCMH

The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) just released The Patient-Centered Medical Home's Impact on Cost & Quality: Annual Review of the Evidence 2013-2014, which summarizes new results from primary care patient-centered medical home (PCMH) initiatives since the publication of the previous Annual Review. The report provides selected cost and utilization outcomes from a combination of peer-reviewed studies, state program evaluations, and industry publications, which are aggregated to present an overview of PCMH and primary care innovations going on across the country.

Evidence for the PCMH described in this report points out impressive and growing trends that tie the medical home model with reductions in health care costs and unnecessary utilization of services; improvements in population health and preventive services; increased access to primary care; and growing satisfaction among patients and clinicians. In short, the evidence demonstrates that the PCMH is an effective model for achieving the Triple Aim

With regard to the Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care, the report states the following:

“As part of integrating health services within primary care, many practices are beginning to address glaring gaps in comprehensive care: two such examples are behavioral health and oral health. Integration of team members that support the mental and behavioral health needs of patients has become a fundamental component to the PCMH. Most patients with chronic conditions require some type of coaching or guidance to support behavior change necessary to maintain or improve their quality of life. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders often present in the primary care setting; health care costs for patients with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are much higher when patients have behavioral health conditions thathave not been adequately addressed and managed.”

Behavioral health integration is also referred to in examples of state efforts, the Medicaid Health Home, discussions of PCMH workforce issues, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services grant initiatives.

Access the full report and the executive summary.