Advancing the Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care for Small Practices

Integrating screening, diagnosis, and treatment of common behavioral health conditions-depression, anxiety, and substance use-into primary care is widely acknowledged as a pressing goal, but it is also a significant challenge. That's especially true for the many resource-constrained smaller practices that provide so much of New York City's and State's primary care.

This new issue brief from United Hospital Fund and New York State Health Foundation describes the launch of a project involving 11 small practices in New York City and State, testing an innovative “continuum-based framework” that allows for the phased adoption of key elements of behavioral health integration. That framework, developed by a team led by Drs. Henry Chung, of Montefiore Health System, and Harold Pincus, of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, with grant support from UHF, was the subject of a 2016 report, Advancing Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care: A Continuum-Based Framework.

With additional funding from UHF and new funding from New York State Health Foundation, this new project tracks the process of moving from theory to practice. The issue brief (downloadable below) describes the diverse practices participating, their medium- and longer-range goals for practice integration, and policy changes they believe would advance those goals.