Denver Increases Number of Integrated Primary Care Sites



The pace of integration has quickened over the last 2 years in the Denver metro area as an increasing number of county and private primary care clinics are integrating mental health professionals. Colorado health care providers and administrators are changing their thinking around health care delivery and confidence in this model is rising: "It’s just good care, and it’s becoming the standard of care," said Jill Atkinson, clinical director at Adams County Community Reach Center. The Colorado Health Foundation, one of the largest health foundations that provides grants to improve the health of Coloradans, reports that 68% of those with behavioral health disorders also had at least one physical health condition and 29% of those managing a physical condition also had mental health issues in 2012. The Foundation’s 2012 report also indicates that financial sustainability continues to be a concern as 75% of their surveyed integrated sites were primarily grant-funded. Policy advocates reportedly continue to push for health care billing reform while researching demonstrated cost savings and improved health outcomes for integrated care patients.

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