NCSL Brief: Treating the Whole Person by Integrating Care
The National Conference of State Legislatures examines models for integrating behavioral health and primary care in a briefing paper funded by the State Health Care Spending Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
For many patients, including those enrolled in Medicaid, behavioral health problems—such as stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or alcohol and substance abuse—exacerbate their physical ailments. Research shows that total health care costs for treating patients with co-occurring physical and behavioral health issues are exponentially higher than treating them for physical conditions alone. Even when behavioral health disorders are diagnosed and treated, a patient’s primary and behavioral health care services are often conducted separately, and the two or more providers treating the patient may not communicate about that patient’s conditions, diagnosis and treatments.
Read the entire brief.