2013 Lexicon

New! 2023 AHRQ Lexicon Revision

NOTE: The original 2013 version of the AHRQ Lexicon has been updated. To access the new AHRQ Lexicon, first published in October 2023, use the following links:

Introduction  Part 1  Part 2 Methodology

The information and accompanying documents below refer to the original 2013 version of the AHRQ Lexicon, which has since been updated. It was current when produced but is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. 

What do we mean by "integrating behavioral health and primary care"?

In this emerging field, it is important to develop shared language that enables communication and collaboration across sites, disciplines, and time.

Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration

The Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration (Lexicon) is a set of concepts and definitions developed by experts to provide a practical definition of behavioral health integration as implemented in practice settings. This consensus Lexicon enables clear communication and action among clinicians, care systems, health plans, payers, researchers, policymakers, business modelers, and patients working for effective, widespread implementation on a meaningful scale.

The Lexicon opens with an executive summary that gives the reader an overview of what follows. The executive summary is also available separately.

The following products offer a simpler, plain language introduction to the concepts in the Lexicon.

The three separate products include:

Products: Lexicon

Journey Toward a Lexicon

The original version of the Academy’s Lexicon was developed in 2009 through an AHRQ small conference grant to create A National Agenda for Research in Collaborative Care (PDF - 691.43 KB). While planning the meeting, experts used the same words to refer to different concepts or practices and struggled to communicate effectively.

After initially developing a shared understanding at the meeting, participants agreed that the Lexicon was an important, even critical, advancement for the field but that it needed further refinement. To that end, AHRQ funded an R-13 grant that enabled C.J. Peek and the University of Minnesota to collaborate with the Academy’s National Integration Advisory Council (NIAC) to further enhance the Lexicon. The current Lexicon is the result of that effort.