Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care as a Comprehensive Way to Deliver Patient Care

Health care policy is the backbone on which we can create and support effective and comprehensive approaches to patient care. Health policy expert and former NIAC member Kavita Patel, M.D., M.S.H.S., explains why now is a perfect time to integrate behavioral health and primary care due to the increased number of patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, and statewide comprehensive care initiatives across the country. These current health care policies promote collaborative care and a comprehensive patient-centered approach that includes the integration of behavioral health and primary care services. 

While providers may understand recent changes to the health care system, many are still uncertain of what their role is. Continued research is important to show these providers that they can practice in a collaborative team while maintaining their independence in their specialties.