When hurricanes Katrina and Rita devasted New Orleans, the AIMS Center worked on a Red Cross funded initiative to rebuild the primary care system to include Collaborative Care. The project enhanced the availability of evidence-based mental health services to uninsured, disadvantaged, and minority community members offered through REACH NOLA’s Mental Health Infrastructure and Training Project. It also showed the benefits of integrated mental health care after disasters, particularly for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To our knowledge, the program is the first time that a Collaborative-Care-based quality improvement approach for mental health treatment had been applied in a post-disaster recovery setting.
The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) asked Performing Provider Systems (PPSs) from all over the state that chose Collaborative Care for their Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) to nominate at least one of their clinics to participate in the Learning Network. Through a rigorous application process, 19 clinics were selected to participate. As a part of the Learning Network, these clinics will eventually be eligible to bill the monthly Medicaid case rate once they are trained and have the necessary staffing, infrastructure, and workflows in place to deliver effective Collaborative Care (CoCM).
In order to achieve these goals, OMH provided clinics with training, site visits, and access to tools that facilitate the implementation of Collaborative Care, including access to the AIMS Center’s Care Management Tracking System.
While Collaborative Care training and support provided by OMH is only available to these clinics for one year, OMH hopes that creating a network of clinics learning together will facilitate the success of Collaborative Care for clinics beyond additional training support. As part of the Learning Network, clinics are encouraged to build relationships with the other clinics through communicating and learning from one another along the way. Individual clinics are matched with similarly structured clinics to form several training cohorts to better facilitate learning. An experienced coach works with each training cohort throughout the implementation process. Regular calls with the training cohort will keep clinics connected and provide the opportunity to receive additional training support, discuss challenges, and learn what the other sites are doing.
The AIMS Center, NYS OMH, Qualis Health, and, most importantly, the training cohorts will provide clinics with the support and tools needed to ensure a successful CoCM program implementation. We hope that each clinic’s care team will continue to communicate with the other members of the learning network after the close of the year and the discontinuation of services.
Health care providers and systems need effective strategies for management of individuals with multiple coexisting chronic conditions, who are now the norm rather the exception. Among patients with diabetes, the presence of co-morbid depression is associated with increased risk of complications, cardiovascular events and mortality—and higher medical costs. The TEAMcare study was a randomized controlled trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of the collaborative care model (CoCM) for treatment of depression, diabetes, and coronary heart disease in primary care. This multi-center trial was conducted by the University of Washington in collaboration with the Group Health Research Institute with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
The TEAMcare findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010. The primary result was that (when compared to usual care) a multi-disciplinary team providing measurement-based care and nurse care management significantly improved outcomes for depression and coronary heart disease and/or diabetes at a lower cost over a 12-month treatment period.
Through Archstone Foundation’s Depression in Late Life Initiative, the Care Partners project seeks to improve depression care for older adults by building innovative and effective community partnerships. Specifically, the Care Partners project has the following goals: 1) develop late-life depression innovations among primary care, community-based organizations (CBOs) and family, 2) build a learning community of clinics, CBOs, and researchers in California who will work together on the Care Partners Late-Life Depression Initiative to improve care for depressed older adults, 3) conduct an evaluation of the developing models, and 4) develop and conduct a Learning Collaborative in Year 5 for California clinics and CBOs interested in improving depression care for older adults. Throughout the project, project teams at the University of Washington (UW) and UC-Davis (UCD) provide technical assistance and evaluation to support site development and sustainment. Together, the community-engaged partnerships have tremendous potential to improve access to care, patient engagement, patient care experience and quality of care. In addition, CBO and clinic partners are well primed to improve care through addressing the social determinants of health.