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 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 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.
In an effort to increase access to mental health care in Seattle and King County, the AIMS Center at the University of Washington partnered with UW Medicine to launch the Behavioral Health Integration Program (BHIP). BHIP uses collaborative care to bring mental health treatment into all of the UW Neighborhood Clinics, a system of twelve primary care clinics located throughout greater Seattle, as well as clinics at Harborview Medical Center and the General Internal Medicine clinic at UWMC Roosevelt. Like elsewhere, mental health is a big part of primary care in Seattle and King County; in 2009, 19% of all clinic patients had a mental health diagnosis. Although Collaborative Care has been implemented around the world, the AIMS Center and UW Medicine are very proud to be able to provide it in our own community.
BHIP utilizes a web-based Care Management Tracking System that supports population-based care, provides patient outcome measures, and assists in quality improvement efforts. In October 2012, several goals were established for the BHIP program: to increase patient access by care managers and across all BHIP clinics, to improve patient outcomes on measures of depression and anxiety, to increase provider satisfaction with care management, and to improve provider satisfaction with psychiatric consultation. When measured in August 2013, the BHIP program had exceeded initial targets for each of the seven indicators.
Untreated mental health illnesses have serious consequences for families, but fewer than one in four depressed people who identify as mothers receive effective treatment. This project examined depression care and clinical outcomes for pregnant people and people who identify as either mothers or primary caregivers, treated in 14 clinics serving racially and ethnically diverse communities with lower incomes as part of the Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP). The outcome of this project was published in Family Practice. Huang H. et al (2012) found that although there was substantial depression improvement in all four of the ethnic groups studied (Asian, Black, Latinx, White), outcomes of Latinx patients were higher than those of Black patients regardless of other demographic or clinical factors. Notably, this study shows that more intensive care management in the first month of treatment for primary care can lead to better outcomes for pregnant people, and mothers or primary caregivers with lower incomes experiencing depression. Another study describes the experiences of care managers working in this program and found that motivational interviewing skills were a valuable asset in engaging patients in care, which generally leads to better outcomes.
- Huang, H., Chan, Y.-F., Katon, W., Tabb, K., Sieu, N., Bauer, A. M., Wasse, J. K., & Unützer, J. (2012). Variations in depression care and outcomes among high-risk mothers from different racial/ethnic groups. Family Practice, 29(4), 394–400. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmr108
- Huang, H., Bauer, A. M., Wasse, J. K., Ratzliff, A., Chan, Y.-F., Harrison, D., & Unützer, J. (2013). Care managers’ experiences in a collaborative care program for high risk mothers with depression. Psychosomatics, 54(3), 272–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psym.2012.07.011