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Integrated Care – Improving access to mental health services

Mental health is essential to improving overall health outcomes across the lifespan. Psychiatrists are uniquely positioned to improve access to mental health care and improve patients’ whole health by using effective integrated care models.

Integrated care is a general term for any attempt to fully or partially blend behavioral health services with available or specialty medical services. This blending can occur within inpatient or ambulatory clinical settings. By treating both the mental and physical needs of children, adolescents, and adults, we will better meet the triple aim of improved patient outcomes and satisfaction at a lower cost by addressing common, disabling, and costly behavioral health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder).

As our understanding of how to best integrate care to deliver high-quality services has grown, so too has interest among payers, providers, and health systems about how to implement evidence-based integrated care models best.

This guide from the APA provides information on effective models of the Collaborative Care Model, training opportunities, and additional resources on implementing and getting paid for Collaborative Care.

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