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.
“NHMH has done great work advocating for integrated care models which should help so many patients and families; I am inspired by its advocacy to improve the care of so many.”
– Dr. Wayne J. Katon (Dec’d).
University of Washington, creator of the collaborative care/TEAMcare model of integrated care
A CALL TO ALL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH INTEGRATION STAKEHOLDERS: PUT PATIENTS F-I-R-S-T!
To make behavioral integration into medical settings a reality NHMH calls upon all stakeholders to Put Patients First! and relinquish narrow vested interests tied to the status quo. Now is a time for innovation and for putting the whole health needs of American citizens, mental and physical, first and work together to get that done. Now is the time for implementing effective, proven integrated medical-behavioral care that is team-based, measurement-based and value-based.
In this first installment of our new NHMH 2021 Mission Statement we discuss:
* Issue overview
* The human toll (true story from frontlines)
* How siloed behavioral-medical care delivery and payment came to be
* Healthcare system changes required now
* Cost to fix
* NHMH specific legislative and regulatory “Asks”
Is a nonprofit advocacy organization working at the federal and state policy level to make effective behavioral…
A RECOGNIZED LEADER
In advocacy for medical-behavioral integrated care which means having both your physical…
In improved physical and behavioral health outcomes and lowered total healthcare costs…
WE GET RESULTS THAT MATTER TO PATIENTS
First Behavioral Health Integration Federal Training Program for Primary Care Practices Created.
In December 2022 Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 which includes a provision for a new federal training and technical assistance program for primary care physicians on delivering evidenced-based, proven effective approaches to integrating behavioral health services (mental health, substance use) in their primary care practices (CAA, Sec. 1301). This is the first behavioral health integration federal training program for PCPs of its kind. It will greatly increase Americans’ access to mental mental health and addiction care. This grant program allows for primary care practices to receive up to $2 million/yr for five years (2023-2037) to help them deliver integrated care including screenings, assessments, and treatments for mental health and addition conditions. (See Archive section for more detail).
Congressional Legislation Introduced.
In 2022 four legislative bills have been introduced in the U.S. Congress, House and Senate, on behavioral health integration. The bills would train primary care physicians to deliver integrated care; increase payment to primary care practices that offer integration services; make behavioral integration in primary care a core part of Medicare and Medicaid programs; and test innovations in how hospitals might provide integrated medical-behavioral care to inpatients. NHMH has provided inputs and recommendations on these bills to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Help, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee and has worked with individual Congressional offices of both parties in support of these bipartisan bills.
Biden Administration Includes Integrated Medical-Behavioral Care in its Mental Health Strategy.
Integrated care is now included in the Federal Government’s March 2, 2022 White House Mental Health Strategy for the first time. See p. 4, the Connect Americans to Care section, bullet #2. This prioritization of integrated care by the Administration is a meaningful, substantive development. While the funding the White House proposes must be enacted by Congress, the federal health department’s (HHS) testing of new payment models to reimburse primary care doctors for providing integrated care can now go ahead. Another significant building block in widespread implementation of whole person care.
New High-Level Bipartisan Call for Health Policy Change Enabling Behavioral Health Integration.
On March 30, 2021 the highly respected independent Bipartisan Policy Center issued a detailed report urgently calling for integration of mental health into primary care. The Report led by a BPC Task Force comprised of experts and former Members of Congress from both parties, details specific policy actions that should be taken by Congress and relevant health agencies to make effective, evidence-based mental health services available in primary care across the country. NHMH has been engaged with the BPC since 2014 to advance BHI and believes this Report to be a major breakthrough to place BHI high on the health policy reform agenda.
Tackling America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis Through Primary Care Integration | Bipartisan Policy Center
Congress Enacts New Law Effective 2020 Helping States to Enforce Compliance with 2008 Federal Parity Law
The 2020 federal law provides States with badly needed new funding to allow them to carry out mental health parity enforcement and implementation required by the federal parity law passed in 2008. Parity = Access to mental health care. With that in mind, Congress passed the 2008 federal parity law to require a majority of health insurance plans, including those provided by private employers, to cover treatment for mental health conditions no more restrictively than treatment for physical conditions. Implementation of the 2008 federal law requirement by insurers has been slow. The 2020 law funds States to support their oversight of health plans’ compliance with parity requirements as long as States collect and review comparative analyses from insurers.
Number of Nurse Practitioners Doubles Playing Key Role in Primary Care
Between 2010-2017 the number of nurse practitioners (nurses with advanced training) grew by 109%, as compared with growth of RNs of 22% and physicians 9%. NPs play a vital role in team-based care such as the integrated medical-physical care in primary care. The significant growth of this key healthcare worker category reflects the increasing focus on improving primary care advocated by groups such as NHMH. Increased educational programs in nursing schools, part of NHMH’s advocacy focus, allows for graduation of more NPs to join primary care clinical care teams.
Congress Renews Patient-Centered Research Organization Working to Advance Behavioral Integration into Primary Care
NHMH was one of a coalition of 200 organizations that successfully advocated for Congress to re-authorize the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). With the signing of HR 1865 into law on December 20, 2019, PCORI was re-authorized by Congress to continue its research trials developing information for patients and providers on which treatment approaches work best for what conditions and for which patients, until September 29, 2029. Currently, NHMH is participating in several ongoing PCORI national and regional research studies, all comparing different approaches to integrating mental health treatment into primary care for their effects on patient outcomes, with the aim to make that information available to patients and their doctors.
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NHMH – No Health without Mental HealthWe 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.
6 months ago
It's Time to Mandate Treatment of the Dangerously Mentally IllWhat happens when we leave people with psychosis to their demons? Ask the families of Alison Russo-Elling, Nathaniel Rivers, and Michelle Go.
NHMH Salutes the Passing of American Scientist Dr. Paul Greengard, a Pioneer in Brain Research and Mental Health Treament. We owe Dr. Greengard a great debt for his incredible, break-through work, and his amazing life of service.
OUR PARTNERS & COLLABORATORS
“If you have doubts about the efficacy of offering collaborative care in the primary care setting, just ask a primary care physician who has been exposed to this efficient consultative support, and ask patients who have seen both their physical and behavioral issues addressed in one place in a coordinated fashion and see what response you get!”
Dr. Mark Williams, Mayo Clinic
Read full interview with Dr. Mark Williams of the Mayo Clinic.
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