We work for a future where you can see a trained, qualified mental health professional for a consultation in the privacy of your primary care doctor’s office.
CALIFORNIA : Nation’s Largest County Begins Integrating Behavioral Health and Social Services Throughout Its Public Primary Care System
* Los Angeles County is embedding behavioral and social care in all its 26 community health center clinics serving 400,000 patients annually.
* County achieved 96% patient screening rate for behavioral health and for social insecurities in 2022.
* Program transitional, expensive and challenging, sweat equity from County providers, social workers, department leaders, bureaucrats, key.
* Learning process for both patients and care team re how to talk about these sensitive issues.
* CA’s new Medicaid reform plan (CalAIM) allows integrating PC clinics to bill Medicaid for these services.
* Too early for data to show improved patient outcomes though some changes visible.
* Process data results for referrals connecting patients to behavioral and social care improved.
* Younger doctors more readily adapting to behavioral and social integration.
* Goal: keep care in the primary care clinic as much as possible.
* “It’s been transformative.”
* “It’s very difficult to get somebody to goal for diabetes if you cannot get them to goal for depression.”
* “The patient is whole: mental health, social health, they all affect each other.”
* “It’s eye-opening how much behavioral health impacts the patient’s ability to follow through on regimen, diet to control their chronic diseases.”
* “Patients feel safe with the primary care team; they are more likely to reveal behavioral/social conditions/insecurities in PC setting.”
* “You have the primary care team there in real time, to swoop in, we can treat you, we have resources.”
* “The primary care physician is always going to be the connecting point for the patient.”
* “For our providers there is a sense that we can help our patients even more with integrated care.”