Community Health Care Center Integrated Behavioral Health Program Development Project
The goal of this project was to strengthen the existing integration of primary care and behavioral health services within the Cascade County Community Care Center. To achieve this goal, the health center hired a psychiatric nurse practitioner to join their team of medical providers, licensed clinical social workers, and care managers to help move their program from partial to full behavioral health integration. The National Council for Behavioral Health provided technical assistance, training, and learning communities for this project. Key project outcomes included: strengthening the continuum of care with Benefis Hospital by ensuring that patients discharged from the hospital’s behavioral health unit would receive appropriate and timely care from the health center’s behavioral health team; adjusting behavioral health therapist schedules to ensure availability for “warm handoffs” and consults with primary care providers; coordinating with a dedicated biller/coder to ensure sustainable third-party billing and collections. Through this grant, the health center determined that the addition of the psychiatric nurse practitioner provided a more comprehensive model of care for the center and that the position would be sustainable moving forward through third-party billing.