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.
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 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.
The COMPASS (Care Of Mental, Physical And Substance-use Syndromes) initiative, funded by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, evaluated the large-scale implementation of the TEAMcare model treating patients with depression and comorbid diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease. The initiative was implemented in 18 medical groups and 172 clinics across eight states. Participating clinics differed significantly in size, organizational structure, patient populations, and payment systems, thus demonstrating the feasibility of implementing the TEAMcare intervention in “real world” clinical settings.
The initiative involved 3,609 Medicare and Medicaid patients in eight states and is one of the largest collaborative care implementations to date. The results of the trial were published in a 2016 issue of General Hospital Psychiatry. Among patients with uncontrolled disease at enrollment, 40% achieved depression response or remission, 23% achieved glucose control and 58% achieved blood pressure control over the 11-month treatment period. There were large variations in outcomes across the medical groups, and rigorous implementation was associated with increased effectiveness. Researchers learned best practices for treating patients in primary care settings who have multiple chronic conditions, demonstrated the model can be effective for the target population when implemented well, and identified financial models that can sustain and scale a multi-condition collaborative care program.
Around 2.1 million Americans aged 12 years and older had an opioid use disorder (OUD) in 2016. Among adults who misused opioids in the prior year, 43% also had a mental illness. There is strong evidence for the efficacy of the Collaborative Care model (CoCM) in treating common mental health disorders, but not for the treatment of OUD. The CHAMP study (Collaborating to Heal Opioid Addiction and Mental Health in Primary Care) will investigate whether CoCM that addresses both mental health conditions and co-occurring OUD can improve patient lives.
The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science’s Population Health Division and the AIMS Center will support up to 24 primary care clinics in implementing either CoCM for OUD and mental health conditions, or for mental health conditions only. Training for the intervention began in late summer 2020.
Find out more about this clinical trial by visiting the CHAMP website.
Lori Ferro Phone: (206) 685-7538
Watch presenter Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD give an introduction to the project and answer questions from attendees.
Introduction to CHAMP
This project was borne of a unique partnership between two federal entities, HRSA and NIMH, who contracted with the AIMS Center to train and support care teams in Nurse-led clinics to implement Collaborative Care. The project began in 2017 with11 clinics in diverse regions of the US for two years. All the sites were safety-net clinics providing care to underserved, predominantly uninsured patient populations, and were located in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Target populations included low-income, homeless, and/or LGBTQ adults facing significant financial, geographic, cultural-linguistics barriers. Patients served in these clinics suffered from chronic disease conditions (e.g. diabetes, hypertension) and untreated/undertreated mental health conditions or substance abuse.
AIMS Center practice coaches provided individualized support to each clinic as they laid the groundwork for their Collaborative Care teams, which included hiring staff, developing workflows, and financial planning. Teams had highly variable staffing models and experience with integrated care, but after several months of remote team meetings and didactic webinars with practice coaches, in-person trainings, and site visits, all 11 sites launched Collaborative Care in early 2018. Each site then received ongoing clinical training for behavioral health care managers and psychiatric consultants, as well as monthly sessions with a practice coach to refine workflows and team communications, report on and improve quality metrics, and plan for financial and clinical sustainment.
A unique aspect of this project is that site visits were conducted early in Year Two of the project, and a formalized set of evaluation tools were developed and used to assess site progress and identify areas in need of support. The site visits were conducted by the AIMS practice coach and clinical trainers and thoroughly documented for reporting back to HRSA and NIMH, as well as to the sites themselves. This was a rich method for thoroughly understanding any implementation challenges these sites faced and helping them solve these problems in real time. The project concluded in June of 2019.
This NIMH-HRSA collaboration supported Strategic Objective Four (4) of the NIMH Strategic Plan, which is to strengthen the public health impact of NIMH-supported research by providing training and health information dissemination.