Greater Columbia ACH providers and community leaders learned about innovative ways to integrate behavioral health at the March Learning Collaborative/Leadership Council meeting. Whether it is a medical home that includes wrap-around housing, a patient center-pharmacy or work flow management, behavioral health is being integrated into patient care to meet patient need, and improve patient quality.
Yakima Valley Farm Workers incorporates three behavioral health models into their practices based on patient need; behavioral health integrated with primary care, collaborative care or behavioral health homes. Brian Sandoval advised providers to use models that solve specific problems and meet the needs of their patients.
Yakima Neighborhood Health Services’ mantra is, “Housing is Healthcare,” and wraps housing into their patient’s care plan. Yakima’s supportive housing collaboration was recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services as a promising practice in 2011, and the outcomes have shown improvements in chronic disease measures, improved success rates for patients recovering from substance use, access to primary care, and rate of compliance with care plans.
Tri-Cities Community Health helps connect the patients with behavioral health using a pharmacy algorithm. Patients newly diagnosed with diabetes often suffer from depression, so the pharmacist can be proactive about referring a patient to a behavioral health therapist after receiving a prescription to treat diabetes. The pharmacy is using the milestones in the toolkit to measure progress against pharmacy practices.
Catholic Services is remodeling their office space to have a single registration desk for all patients, reducing the stigma for behavioral health patients, and treating all patients equitably. They have partnered with a substance use provider to improve access to services, have enhanced in-person hours, and offer around-the-clock telephone or electronic access to a member of the care team.
It was exciting to see how each organization is using practice transformation to deliver new services, and invest in value for their patients.