Behavioral Health integration is about treating the whole patient.
The Behavioral Health Integration Initiative (BHI) will support primary care practitioners seeking to incorporate behavioral health best practices in the evaluation and treatment of patients.
Through the program, we envision that all primary care practices will use best practices to identify and treat behavioral health conditions including depression, chronic pain and substance use, and will use psychotropic medications in a safe and effective manner.
The goals of behavioral health integration are:
- Assist primary care providers in the use of best practice toolkits for behavioral health conditions including depression, chronic pain, and substance use
- Collaborate with LME/MCOs and behavioral health providers to optimize care of patients with concurrent medical and behavioral health conditions
- Increase safety monitoring of off-label prescribing of antipsychotic medication for children
- Reduce off-label prescribing of antipsychotic medication for anxiety, sleep and as mono-therapy for depression in the adult population
- Educate network pharmacists and care managers regarding best practices for behavioral health diagnoses, treatment, and follow-up
With the endorsement of local substance abuse and mental health treatment agencies, a core team of staff members from these two organizations received the necessary training from the Project ECHO organization at the University of New Mexico to have Northwest|Partnership ECHO recognized as an ECHO replication partner. Project ECHO is a model to disseminate best practices on specific chronic illnesses to clinicians through the use of video case conferences and didactics. (See https://echo.unm.edu/). Northwest|Partnership ECHO started its first ECHO clinic in December 2017: Substance Use in Pregnancy ECHO. Meeting twice monthly, this ECHO allows clinicians to present cases of pregnant women with substance use issues and receive treatment recommendations from a hub of experts that includes an addiction psychiatrist, an obstetrician, a licensed substance abuse counselor and a pediatrician. Goals of the project include increasing the number of pregnant women who receive substance abuse treatment, improving birth outcomes for their babies, and to increase the number of clinicians who are willing to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (buprenorphine or methadone) to pregnant women with opioid use disorders.
For more information on Northwest|Partnership ECHO or to participate in an ECHO session, please contact Debra Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.