Harvard program integrates behavioral health into primary care

The Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care recently announced that six primary care practices will introduce a new program for behavioral health integration as part of the Center’s Academic Innovations Collaborative (AIC). The Alice Rosenwald Initiative: Improving Lives through Mental Health Integration into Primary Care is designed to implement a new stepped care model that integrates mental health expertise into the Center’s AIC sites.

The project will launch in two phases, with year one focusing on implementing a team-based stepped care approach for depression, integrating mental health professionals into teams, and creating a technological platform for telemedicine and videoconferencing within the practice. The inaugural six sites are the first rounds of grantees and the remaining AIC sites will have an opportunity to apply a year later.

More information on Harvard’s AIC can be found here. As well as a related story from the New Yorker.

1 Comment

  1. Susan Maslack December 11, 2013 Reply

    Hello! Thanks for the updates via your news briefs. I’m wondering why it is that the bill for expansion does not include coverage for licensed mental health counselors and substance abuse counselors. It seems with our challenges in behavioral health workforce and the critical needs we have, that we should be looking to find ways to broaden the supports for services by all qualified and competent providers. Perhaps the proposed bill, and others like it, provide opportunities for us to talk about this and effectively change these barriers to workforce development that exist on the national level, particularly in Medicare services. There seems a disconnect, which is undoubtedly historical and political, which may be an obstacle to quality services and broadening the availability of appropriate providers and relevant reimbursement to them for services. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this and how we in the field of integrated mental health and substance abuse services can do more to try to rectify and change these institutional barriers.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season, too! Peace!

    Susan

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