The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured recently examined five promising approaches currently underway in Medicaid to better integrate physical and behavioral healthcare. Three of the five approaches— universal screening, navigators and co-location—are of particular interest to the behavioral health workforce. The following are excerpts from the report:
- Universal screening: Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), a method of screening for substance use disorders, is an example of an evidenced-based practice that is reimbursable under many state Medicaid programs. Oregon is including an SBIRT benchmark and improvement target among the measures for which its ACO-like Medicaid Coordinated Care Organizations will be accountable.
- Navigators: Medicaid programs in 30 states and the District of Columbia cover the services of “certified peer specialists,” individuals who have personal experience with behavioral health needs and have completed training and certification to apply that experience to helping clients. Peer specialists often interact with Medicaid beneficiaries outside of office-based settings, supporting them in their homes and communities.
- Co-location: The co-location trend is particularly visible in community health centers. In 2012, about 1,200 federally qualified health centers, operating in nearly 9,000 sites served more than 21 million patients in low-income communities; 41 percent of those served were Medicaid beneficiaries.
The Kaiser report also includes case studies that detail how various organizations are effectively using these approaches.
More information can be found here.