CADCA Offers Guidance to Coalitions on Supporting Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration
In partnership with the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, CADCA’s National Coalition Institute developed a new online publication to help community coalitions understand how they can support current efforts to integrate behavioral health and primary care at the local level.
The dissemination of this new publication, Coalitions and Community Health: Integration of Behavioral Health and Primary Care is important and timely. Integration, and the person-centered approach to improving the health care delivery system by reducing costs and increasing the quality of care that patients receive, is an important theme in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
“This complex law is over 900 pages long and there is so much information available to people which makes it difficult to synthesize. Our goal was to identify a common link between the efforts of community coalitions and those of their local health care providers. By joining forces around the shared goal of improving population-level health, coalitions can work with providers to ensure that individuals in need of coordinated substance abuse, mental health, and physical health services receive the care that they need,” said Evelyn Yang, CADCA’s Deputy Director of Evaluation and Research.
The publication outlines specific action steps for coalitions to educate their community about some of the key provisions of the PPACA that are already being implemented, as well those taking effect in January 2014 and beyond. It also offers suggestions for how coalitions can get at the table with community stakeholders that are involved in planning and implementing integration efforts.
“In order for integration to be successful and truly meet the needs of the community, it is so important that the community voice is incorporated throughout planning and implementation. I can’t think of any other entity that is better positioned than a coalition to support that. Coalitions can market this strength, and numerous others, to community stakeholders to help them understand that they are valuable and necessary partners,” said Andrea de la Flor, CADCA’s Evaluation and Research Manager.
Some coalitions are already working with behavioral and primary health care providers in various capacities across the country. Such efforts are certainly helping build awareness among those providers about coalition work and how it ties in to their own goals for individual and community health.
The new publication includes coalition case studies and their lessons learned in working with their local health care providers. A provider perspective is also offered to help coalitions think about how they might approach this work. The hope is that coalitions will see how well supporting the integration of behavioral health and primary care aligns with the work they are already doing, rather than feeling as though they need to develop an entirely new initiative.
CADCA is helping to support SAMHSA's Enrollment Coalitions Initiative, which aims to ensure that the individuals and organizations you represent are prepared to enroll the uninsured in the Health Insurance Marketplace or direct them to further help with the application process. Coalitions interested in continuing the conversation will have that opportunity at CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute in Austin, Texas on July 21-25th where CADCA will be conducting a training session on the topic. “A Place at the Table: The Role of Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions in Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration” will take place on Thursday, July 25th at 9AM – 12PM.
In addition to the many resources for further reading provided in the publication, coalitions can learn more about patient-centered care by visiting the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative’s website where they can watch a brief informational video titled “What is the Medical Home?”