Josh Rainey, PhD, Eric Lester, PhD, Stephanie Case, PsyD
Improving access to behavioral health care in the outpatient setting is consistent with our professional goal of meeting patients’ needs. Often patients disclose behavioral health needs when visiting the clinic for other medical reasons. To be able to attend to those needs, in the moment they are voiced, promotes patient health. This is particularly true for patient populations that face challenges associated with acknowledging behavioral health needs, finding a trustworthy provider, or socioeconomic barriers. This presentation describes logistical steps in forming a model of behavioral health integration in family medicine by serving as a training site for psychology trainees. Creation of a training site has allowed us to support warm-handoffs and short-term counseling for our most at-risk patients while maintaining cost effective clinical treatment. Other medical specialties can benefit from behavioral health integration as well. This presentation details 1) our programs’ evolution and implementation steps, 2) maintaining cost and value during expansion, 3) learning outcomes for residents in the area of behavioral health needs during outpatient visits, 4) obstacles and solutions to implementation barriers such as resources, time, and clinical staff buy-in, 5) our integration outcomes to date in family medicine and internal medicine, and 6) billing practices for behavioral health faculty and trainees.
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