Supporting the widespread implementation of integrated behavioral health services in Montana. 

“Integrated behavioral health” (IBH) is the term used for providing patients with coordinated physical and behavioral health care. Individuals struggling with mental illness or substance use disorders are often at greater risk for chronic health issues and coordinating a patient’s physical and mental health care can help improve chronic conditions and reduce health care spending.

While the implementation of IBH has been shown to improve health outcomes and reduce health care costs, it has not been broadly implemented in many states – including Montana. In a 2016 report on the use of IBH in Montana, we found that very few primary care and behavioral health practices were implementing IBH. The lack of integrated services can contribute to escalating health care costs and can leave patients, families, providers, and payers to navigate a fragmented health system with little coordination and with no systematic approach for tracking care quality, outcomes, and value.

The goal of this initiative is to support the widespread implementation of IBH services in Montana. To accomplish this, we will bring together a cohort of innovative health care provides who will implement IBH and in so doing, help to promote the more effective use of existing resources and the stronger alignment of community partners. The National Council for Behavioral Health will provide technical assistance and training for the group.

Funding Opportunity

This initiative funds non-profit hospitals and clinics that provide primary care and are interested in incorporating behavioral health services. IBH planning and implementation grants are available. Grant decisions will be based on our general selection criteria and the specific requirements for this initiative. Required elements include:

  • Commitment to pursuing the nine core elements of IBH.
  • Commitment to IBH by the applicant’s clinical and administrative leadership.
  • A clinical service plan with a robust continuum of care that includes mental health, substance use disorders, and a plan to obtain specialty consultation when needed, a plan for data-driven clinical management, and a strong plan to provide care coordination as part of the clinical model.
  • For IBH implementation grantees, a viable business plan and pro-forma for sustaining the IBH program beyond the grant.

If you are interested in applying for an IBH planning or implementation grant, please contact MHCF Senior Program Officer Scott Malloy.

IBH Initiative Cohort Resources

To access IBH informational webinars and training materials produced by the National Council for Behavioral Health, click the buttons below:

Webinars Resources

Perinatal Behavioral Health

Substance Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment

Health Leadership

Focus Area: Behavioral

Integrated Behavioral Health Reports

Our Work in Integrated Behavioral Health

Integrated Behavioral Health Grantees

Montana Health Network

Eastern Montana Integrated Behavioral Health Program

Grant Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Project Amount: $280,000

This project will support the integration of behavioral health into primary care for the health care facilities in eastern Montana that are not affiliated with a larger health system. The project will pull together rural clinics, hospitals, and partner organizations that provide behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services. Through this grant, the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital (Glasgow), McCone County Health Center (Circle), Prairie Community Hospital (Terry), Rosebud Health Center (Forsyth), Roosevelt Medical Center (Culbertson), and Sidney Health Center (Sidney) will implement integrated behavioral health (IBH) into their primary care practices. The Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center is a close partner and will help meet the behavioral health needs for this project. Other facilities that are not directly involved with the grant but who will benefit from the results and training include Dahl Memorial Healthcare (Ekalaka), Fallon Medical Complex (Baker), Garfield County Health Center (Jordan), North East Montana Health Services (Wolf Point, Poplar), and Phillips County Hospital (Malta). Expected outcomes include decreased emergency room visits for patients in crisis, early and more frequent screening and identification of behavioral health and substance abuse issues, and increased patient coordination between treating facilities resulting in better care sooner for the patient.

Saint Peter's Health Foundation

Integrating Behavioral Health into Saint Peter’s Health Medical Group

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project will bring Saint Peter’s Health Medical Group’s medical and behavioral health services together within the primary care setting to better the overall health and well-being of their patients and community. The project will focus on the Behaviorist Model of Care that encompasses the nine core elements of integrated behavioral health: intentional level of integration, leadership support, team-based care, care coordination, data analytics, evidence-based models of care, defined care continuum, stepped care, and psychiatric consultations. In addition to the employment of the core elements, the health system will also focus on the development of a business and operational process to ensure program sustainability.

Saint James Healthcare Foundation

Increasing Access to Integrated Behavioral Health in Silver Bow County

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project will allow the grantee to expand integrated behavioral health services into Saint James Medical Group’s primary care practice. This grant will help Saint James meet the tremendous need in the Butte community by developing streamlined strategies to provide the full continuum of care for identified patients with mental illness and substance use disorders and thoroughly train and integrate their clinical teams. Saint James will work with the Butte-Silver Bow County Health Department, Western Montana Mental Health Center, Montana Chemical Dependency Center, and others to define a consistent continuum of care plan to ensure smooth referral of patients from one level of care to another.

Montana Primary Care Association

Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder Integration in Primary Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $200,000

Through this project, the Montana Primary Care Association will hire a full-time integrated behavioral health (IBH) director to support system-wide IBH implementation in federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). The goal is that in the first year, 100% of FQHCs will complete the base assessment and will move at least one level each year on the implementation integration scale from their base data. The IBH director will coordinate all training and technical assistance which will be measured for key patient services and outcomes. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for substance use disorders will be a major focus of the project.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center: Pathways Treatment Center

Integrated Behavioral Health Implementation

Grant Term: 24 months; 2018-2020
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project will integrate behavioral health into Kalispell Regional Medical Center’s nine primary care clinics through hiring and embedding five social workers in those practices. With consultation from the National Council for Behavioral Health, this project will provide screenings, evidence-based treatment, and tracking for effective care management transforming the culture of delivering mental health services from the inception of the program. The project will also allow for care coordination between the primary care clinics, psychiatric outpatient clinics, emergency department, and inpatient psychiatric unit within the health center system, as well as a standardized system of communication and referral to community partners.

2019 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.