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Lessons from other states
One goal of the Learning Collaborative is to develop and advance a policy agenda to support the practice-level work of providers. This report describes the barriers to integration presented by existing state administrative structures, regulations, and payment systems, and explores what can be done to overcome those barriers to implement integrated care delivery for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Many other states are experimenting with strategies to integrate behavioral health and primary care, and we want to be intentional about identifying replicable models, techniques, and policies that the Learning Collaborative can test in Illinois. This Health Affairs blog post shares lessons learned from a Collaborative Care program in Texas and a Behavioral Health Home program in Maine.

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics
Respondents to our first survey reported great interest in using the Learning Collaborative to help prepare for successful implementation of Certified Community Behavioral Health  Clinics (CCBHCs). On October 19th we learned that Illinois will receive a $982,000 CCBHC planning grant. Advocates statewide worked hard to ensure that Illinois did not miss this opportunity, and the Learning Collaborative will strive to contribute lessons to their ongoing planning for CCBHCs.

A key motivation for starting the Learning Collaborative was to facilitate the adoption of effective practices for integrated care, recognizing that simply having an evidence base is not sufficient to change practice-level behavior and culture nor does an evidence base eliminate the need to adapt promising models to specific circumstances of providers and patients. Evaluating what works and for whom will be an important consideration throughout the Learning Collaborative’s activities. These documents describe some of the gaps in current quality measurement and incentive payments for both behavioral health interventions and for integration of behavioral health and primary care.

Information Exchange
Integration of behavioral health and primary care services requires information exchange, which requires both technology and patient consent. These two reports take different perspectives on the question of consent. The Manatt, Phelps and Phillips policy brief for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation addresses the challenge to providers who need to share information to improve the quality of care they offer. The paper from the Mental Health Legal Advisors in Massachusetts insists on the importance of privacy rules as consumer protections in the context of stigma and discrimination. Both perspectives will be important as the Learning Collaborative seeks to improve integration of person-centered behavioral health and primary care services.