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An Integrated Care Playbook: Lessons from the Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative

  • Overview


Health & Medicine Policy Research Group’s Center for Long-Term Care Reform started the Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative in 2015 to guide local advocacy and facilitate practice-level change to improve the lives of people with mental illness and substance use disorder.

After recruiting a group representing behavioral health and primary care providers, payers, and people with lived experience, we set out to identify concrete ways that we could make an impact on behavioral health integration. The focus of our early work was on establishing criteria for integration that laid the foundation for a common analysis of problems and solutions, identifying gaps in implementing those criteria in practice, and developing practice-level solutions. In the past year the Learning Collaborative’s three Workgroups have been exploring those ideas and testing ways to improve hospital-to-community transitions, digging deeper into strategies for financial sustainability, and confronting the systems-level demands of electronic data exchange.

This Playbook shares the lessons from building and operating a Learning Collaborative and from our three Workgroups. We hope that others can use these as tools to launch or enhance quality improvement and collaborative learning projects.