Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care as a Comprehensive Way to Deliver Patient Care
Health care policy is the backbone upon which we can create and support effective and comprehensive ways of delivering patient care. Health policy expert, Kavita Patel, MD, MSHS of the Brookings Institution explains why now is a perfect time to integrate behavioral health and primary care due to the acceleration of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, Accountable Care Organizations and state-wide comprehensive care initiatives happening all throughout the country. These current health care policies promote collaborative care and a more comprehensive view of patients that includes the integration of behavioral/mental health treatment and primary care. While many people and providers understand the current changes in the healthcare system, many are still uncertain of what their role is. Continued research is crucial to demonstrate to these providers that they can practice collaboratively while also maintaining their autonomy in their specialties.