Behavioral Health Integration Program Launched

2020 marked the beginning of a new clinical offering across six of the Suburban Health Organization Partner Hospitals. Hancock Health, Johnson Memorial Health, Major Health Partners, Margaret Mary Health, Rush Memorial Hospital, and Witham Health Services began a new model of care called Behavioral Health Integration using the support of Dr. Caprice Gilpin, a Clinical Psychiatrist, placed by SHO’s Provider Recruitment program.

The Behavioral Health Integration program is based on the IMPACT model (Improving Mood – Promoting Access to Coordinated Treatment) developed by the University of Washington’s AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions). This model can function in partnership with existing behavioral health services and can serve as a bridge to an in-person or virtual behavioral health referral in settings where the wait time for a new patient visit is not acceptable. The IMPACT model allows the patient to receive physical and mental health care at the same location, reducing transportation costs and enhancing patient satisfaction. It has been demonstrated to improve patient outcomes, as well as reduce the cost of care associated with comorbid medical conditions.

The program is fully functional at Major Hospital and in various stages of launch at the remaining five hospitals. Collaborative Care is a specific type of integrated care that operationalizes the principles of the chronic care model to improve access to evidence based mental health treatments for primary care patients. The model incorporates the primary care clinician, psychiatric consultant, and the behavioral healthcare manager to provide medication recommendations, 6-12 sessions of therapeutic intervention, relapse prevention planning, and patient registry monitoring to deliver patient-centered care. Many of Major Health Partners’ primary care clinicians have reported that they are learning new techniques for future behavioral health complaints and are more comfortable with their psychotropic prescribing through the new model.