Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $35,000
This project’s initial goal was for the Benefis Medical Group to plan for the integration of behavioral health into their primary care practice and support the broader implementation of integrated behavioral health by regional partners in Cascade County and north-central Montana. However, the project experienced unexpected challenges which led to an adjustment in scope. Despite challenges, the project did succeed in implementing a pilot program with a provider in a primary care clinic to screen individuals for depression. More than 150 individuals were screened, 40 of whom reported high depression scores. Through this pilot project, Benefis was able to fine-tune an algorithm for identifying individuals with depression and/or suicidal ideation, develop plans for the ongoing integration of behavioral health in clinic operations, and identify ways to improve and consolidate their electronic health records system and incorporate behavioral health modules into primary care clinic workflows.