What is it?
Integrated behavioral health care combines physical and mental health care to collaboratively address issues identified during primary care visits. Primary care providers (PCPs) and behavioral health (BH) specialists work together to address mental health and behaviors that affect physical health.
The collaborative care model (CoCM) is a specific type of integrated care in which PCPs and embedded BH providers—in one office—treat common mental health conditions. The CoCM's guiding principles are:
- A focus on depression and anxiety, the most common BH conditions
- Universal screening for all patients
- An embedded BH care manager, ready for a warm handoff from the PCP
- Behavioral health care delivered inside the PCP office
- Consulting psychiatrist on standby to assist with referrals or treatment
The CoCM, which was first conceived 20 years ago, has evolved over time. Three variations on the CoCM that have become popular in practice are:
Telephone-based: Several programs use a BH professional to deliver care over the phone, rather than in person.
Illness-specific: Designed to target anxiety specifically, the Coordinated Anxiety Learning and Management (CALM) intervention builds on the CoCM by spending more time educating patients on the nature of their condition before diving into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Screening-focused: Intermountain Healthcare's variant of the CoCM puts more emphasis on screening, using a questionnaire significantly more detailed than the GAD-7 or PHQ-9 to begin their integration workflow.