Integrating physical and behavioral care is good health policy - and it's good for health.
Yet few payers, whether public or private, pay for integrated care despite significant evidence of improved outcomes and cost savings.
Why is that, and what can be done to change it?
A new report from the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, "Paying for Integrated Care and Behavioral Health: Identifying Barriers and Developing Strategies to Overcome Them," explores these questions. Using findings from interviews with key stakeholders, as well as information from successful integrated care programs around the country, the report examines the challenges that both providers and payers face and presents recommendations for addressing those.
A key point in the report is that paying for integrated care is a "chicken and egg" problem that requires both providers and payers to make changes and investments. Policy changes to facilitate information sharing are also needed. And, fundamentally, purchasers must learn about the return on investment from integrated care in order to demand it from their plan administrators.
The report is especially timely in light of the focus placed on integrated care in Colorado's State Innovation Model (SIM) Plan. That plan, currently being developed by public and private stakeholders, centers on integrating primary care and behavioral health in both Medicaid and commercial health insurance. The recommendations in CIVHC's new report help inform Colorado's vision for SIM.
Download the white paper
Funding for this report was generously provided by the Colorado Health Foundation.