The AIMS Center provided training and coaching to five primary care organizations in Texas to implement integrated care for the two mental health conditions most commonly encountered in primary care: depression and anxiety disorders.
A study evaluating outcomes of this program found that vastly different organizations were all able to integrate mental health into primary care settings that serve disadvantaged communities. All five organizations in this program showed meaningful improvement in patient depression outcomes, regardless of varying patient characteristics. Sites that achieved the best patient outcomes engaged patients early, with multiple care manager contacts in the first 3 months of treatment, and received consultation and supervision from psychiatric providers.
Bauer, A. M., Azzone, V., Goldman, H. H., Alexander, L., Unützer, J., Coleman-Beattie, B., & Frank, R. G. (2011). Evaluating the implementation of collaborative depression management in community-based primary care clinics. Psychiatric Services. 62(9), 1047–1053. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.62.9.1047
Alameda County in California provides affordable health care to its uninsured residents, but primary care clinics struggle to meet the demand. The AIMS Center, in partnership with the Alameda Health Consortium, helped 30 primary care clinics develop an integrated mental health care initiative targeting depression, anxiety, and PTSD to increase the effectiveness of care. A key component of the project was determining how organizations can successfully use funding from Medicaid to implement Collaborative Care.
The Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP), supported and administered by the Community Health Plan of Washington in partnership with Public Health -Seattle and King County, integrates mental health screening and treatment in a collaborative care model (CoCM), including psychiatric case review and consultation. MHIP collaborative care teams in Washington State safety-net primary care settings serve diverse Medicaid and uninsured populations. Since MHIP’s inception in 2007, over 50,000 individuals have received integrated mental health services. In 2007 it began as a state-funded, two-county pilot for high risk uninsured adults in King and Pierce counties, but MHIP expanded statewide in early 2009 to include over 130 primary care clinics.
MHIP uses a patient registry (CMTS) to track and measure patient goals and clinical outcomes, and facilitate treatment adjustment if a patient is not improving as expected. MHIP also utilizes pay-for-performance mechanisms to support model fidelity and prioritize patient outcomes. Training and workforce efforts for this project focus on the whole team and all providers are trained on the fundamentals of CoCM.
Escalating prescription opioid use and abuse have emerged as major public health problems in Washington. Rural communities in particular have been hit hard due to their limited access to specialists. This project allows mental health specialists in urban areas to support health care providers in rural areas using videoconferencing technology. Patient evaluations and recommendations, caseload supervision, and education are all done remotely via telehealth. This project aims to establish acceptance, effectiveness, and cost-efficacy of telehealth for delivery of mental health and pain medicine care in rural primary care.
This implementation is part of California’s Mental Health Services Act and LA County’s Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Plan. The PEI Plan focuses on prevention and early intervention services, education, support, and outreach to help inform and identify individuals and their families who may be affected by some level of mental health issue. The Mental Health Integrated Care Program in particular targets adults with depression, anxiety, and mild to moderate PTSD. Providing mental health education, outreach and early identification (prior to diagnosis) can mitigate costly negative long-term outcomes for mental health consumers and their families.
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority provided pilot funding to a Federally Qualified Health Center in Anchorage to support implementation of Collaborative Care and two Alaska Native tribal health corporations to support implementation of Collaborative Care and SBIRT (Substance Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment). The purpose of this program was to determine if integrated mental health care can be effective given the unique challenges faced by primary care clinics in Alaska.
The number of older adults is rising sharply and is expected to increase from 40.3 million to 72.1 million between 2010 and 2030. According to the Pew Research Center, 92% of adults aged 65 and older use text messaging. Despite misconceptions to the contrary, text messaging as part of primary care for older adults is growing. Text messaging holds promise as a strategy for engaging older adults in Collaborative Care depression treatment through frequent contact with a behavioral health care manager. The purpose of this research project is to develop and pilot test a text messaging intervention delivered in California primary care settings serving a patient population that is at least 25% older adults. Published research (Bao et. al. 2015) demonstrated that early follow-up contact predicts better clinical outcomes for patients. A recent analysis published by the AIMS Center (Renn et. al. 2021) showed that Collaborative Care was equally effective in older and younger adults but that older adults needed more contact with the behavioral health care manager to achieve these equivalent outcomes. Text messaging may be an effective strategy for both early and more frequent contact with patients. The AIMS Center is partnering with the Archstone Foundation on this project.
More than 20 years of research evidence across more than 80 randomized controlled trials has established Collaborative Care as the integrated care approach with the most research evidence across all kinds of clinical delivery systems, patient populations, and geographic regions. This research evidence is replicated in dozens of peer reviewed publications evaluating implementation of Collaborative Care in real-world settings. Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing the highest quality care possible to their patients. They participated in the largest research trial of Collaborative Care and one of their regions has been practicing Collaborative Care for many years. The senior leaders at each of the eight regions, along with leadership from the national Mental Health and Wellness group, have made implementing Collaborative Care system-wide a key priority. The AIMS Center is partnering with them to accomplish this goal.
The Departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) are providing an opportunity for primary care providers to receive training and technical assistance to implement a Collaborative Care (CoCM) program or spread their existing CoCM services to enhance care for women with perinatal depression and other behavioral health disorders through the Maternal Infant Dyad – Implementation (MInD-I) Initiative, pronounced ‘mind eye’.
Participating care teams receive 15 months of technical assistance and training support from the AIMS Center, including assistance building patient screening and outcome reports for continuous quality improvement. Training will focus on helping primary care clinics to implement or enhance their CoCM programs and build sustainable staffing strategies. Training and technical assistance is not limited to perinatal populations. The AIMS Center staff and faculty are available to assist providers to build a robust CoCM program that can capably serve all patient populations. Care teams also receive free access to the AIMS Caseload Tracker over the course of their participation in MInD-I, with the option of continuing to use the registry afterwards by paying an annual hosting fee.
This project is a collaboration with the Portland Area Service Unit of the Indian Health Service (IHS) and George Fox University. George Fox University received a Health Services Resource Administration (HRSA) grant to promote integrated mental health care at two Oregon sites: the Chemawa Indian School’s Primary Care Clinic (operated by the Portland Area Service Unit) and Providence Medical Group in Newburg, OR. This project creates a learning collaborative among interested IHS and tribal clinics to implement Collaborative Care. Other clinics include the Warm Springs IHS unit and tribal clinics.
The AIMS Center is providing implementation coaching support and clinician training to support the project at the Indian Health Service and related sites.