In Montana, primary care providers serve as the first line of treatment for many people with mental illness and substance use disorders. The integrated care model enables primary care providers to offer screening and prompt, effective care for common issues like depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. More severe problems are referred to a behavioral health specialist so the patient can get the care they need right away.
We know that what goes on in our heads is connected to what goes on in our bodies. It’s all part of the same system. With integrated care, primary care providers can screen for behavioral health problems as part of a regular checkup. They can provide immediate care for common issues like depression, anxiety, and substance misuse as part of the same appointment. The integrated care model also connects patients to everyday resources to be healthy, like housing, food, and transportation.
Studies show that integrated care improves patients’ health across the board and increases efficiency for providers. It also reduces health care costs because fewer people wind up needing hospital or emergency care. This is key to solving Montana’s health problems. By identifying and treating behavioral health problems in primary care, we can reserve our scarce specialty care resources for the most severe cases.
We provide start-up funding and in-depth technical assistance to primary care practices that want to bring a behavioral health provider on board through this initiative. This model works, and we’re committed to making it available throughout our state so that Montanans can get all their health needs met in a more convenient, effective manner.
The initiative helped integrated behavioral health services into 66 primary care settings across the state.
By the end of 2022, nearly 80% of all adult and pediatric Medicaid patients had access to integrated care in an initiative-funded clinic.
Primary Care Settings
Click a map marker to view the primary care setting’s address:
To date, we have helped integrate behavioral health services into 66 primary care clinics across the state, including:
- All 11 large hospitals
- 34 of the 45 critical access hospitals
- 3 of the 5 urban Indian health centers
- All 14 federally qualified health centers
- 3 of the 8 tribal health departments
- 1 independent pediatric practice
- 79% of adult and 76% of pediatric Medicaid patients receive care in integrated behavioral health practices
About the Opportunity
This initiative provides funding for hospitals and clinics that provide primary care and are interested in integrating behavioral health services. Grantees will join a cohort and receive technical assistance and training from state and national experts. All project applications are by invitation only.
For each of the grants we award, we expect sites to:
- Commit to pursuing the core elements of integrated behavioral health.
- Provide a formalized commitment to the project by clinical and administrative leadership.
- Develop a viable business plan and proforma for sustaining the program beyond the grant term.
In addition to meeting our standard selection criteria, invited grant applications for this initiative will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- A commitment to the grant project by organizational leadership.
- There must be a clinical service plan with a robust continuum of care that includes mental health, substance use disorders, and specialty consultation.
- When needed, the engagement of new and existing partners to use resources more effectively and strengthen the business and sustainability of the programming that we fund.