The goal of this initiative is to support 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 Drug and Alcohol Use

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

Billings Clinic

Integrated Behavioral Health Expansion

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $150,000

The goal of this project is to build on an existing integrated behavioral health (IBH) pilot program and expand it to all of Billings Clinic’s primary care locations. In order to do this, the project will create an efficient and accessible patient registry to allow tracking and management of each patient’s clinical diagnoses, develop protocols for analysis of registry data, hire a program coordinator and mental health assistant for program support across multiple primary care practices, and create a scalable IBH model. The existing IBH pilot program follows primary care patients of four physicians at Billings Clinic West. This new project will allow for growth to other Billings Clinic family practices over the next two years, ultimately reaching patients of more than 20 primary care providers.

Saint Vincent Healthcare Foundation

Building out the Continuum of Care

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $150,000

This project would contribute to Saint Vincent Healthcare’s implementation of integrated behavioral health in all their primary care clinics, both those in Billings and those in the rural communities that they serve. This grant would enable them to plan and implement a strong referral system that ensures that behavioral health specialists are used efficiently and effectively. The process for referrals on to behavioral health counselors, as well as other staff members in the specialty clinic will be defined, and developed to ensure an integrated workflow for a complete continuum of care; the project will include consideration of telehealth for rural patients that require a level of care beyond the scope of what the team can provide onsite at the primary care clinics.

UM - Department of Psychology

Integrated Behavioral Health Workforce Development Initiative

Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $141,104

This project will plan for and implement an Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Workforce Development Initiative at the University of Montana. This initiative will recruit students, expand IBH training opportunities, place students in rural integrated care programs, and provide appropriate supervision. Grant funding will be used to hire an assistant psychology professor to direct the initiative. This project will build on prior MHCF grants to the University which helped develop IBH training and certification curriculum for psychology, social work, and counseling students. The project has strong partners from other university departments, as well as the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana, Curry Health Center, Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, and CSKT Tribal Health.

Northern Rockies Medical Center

Integrating Behavioral Health in a Critical Access Hospital

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This project will develop a plan to integrate behavioral health services into the Northern Rockies Medical Center’s outpatient practice, which serves the Cut Bank community in northern Montana. In addition to planning to offer integrated behavioral health services, the project will develop a plan for a referral system with options for those struggling with substance use disorders and mental health issues. Potential partnerships that this project will foster include a local private practice counselor, Indian Health Services, Crystal Creek Lodge Treatment Center, Kalispell Regional Health, and Marias Medical Center.

Clark Fork Valley Hospital

Sanders County Behavioral and Medical Health Delivery Integration

Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This integrated behavioral health planning grant will help Clark Fork Valley Hospital enhance their current primary care services to include behavioral health. Clark Fork Valley Hospital has partnered with the Family Medicine Network to bring a clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker into their primary care offices and has established telepsychiatry services. Although their behavioral health and primary care services are currently co-located, they wish to advance to a fully integrated system of care. Technical assistance will be provided by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

2018 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.