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While much has been achieved, further efforts are necessary to realize the promise of behavioral health integration. The following recommendations highlight areas in need of additional research and development.

Education and Training

  • Develop a standardized glossary of evidence-based “integrated care” terminology in partnership with other essential allied organizations.
  • Further expand training opportunities within graduate medical education on evidence-based models of integrated care in collaboration with the ABPN.
  • Expand CME opportunities for physicians, especially online courses paired with CME credit.
  • Partner with allied behavioral health organizations (e.g., psychology, social work, advance practice nursing, professional counselors), care management, and primary care (e.g., American Association of Family Practitioners, American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics) to develop within-field continuing education training programs focusing on the respective roles within the Collaborative Care Model.
  • Partner with allied organizations responsible for the training of future behavioral health, care management, and primary care practitioners to develop opportunities to formally incorporate Collaborative Care earlier in the professional curriculum.
  • Partner with allied medical stakeholders in increasing healthcare provider awareness of Collaborative Care models and the evidence that supports their outcomes.
  • Incentivize ongoing training and standardization through a professional certification program.

Implementation Support

  • Develop standard minimum functional criteria for disease registries and information technology in Collaborative Care.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of these minimal criteria in existing EMR platforms or at the level of health information exchanges.
  • Develop common team-based performance benchmarks for use in Collaborative Care implementation.
  • Design a “road-map” to Collaborative Care implementation to assist systems invested in evidence-based integrated care delivery.
  • Support the development of process measures that align with the four essential elements of Collaborative Care.
  • Coordinate with national and regional entities, including payer and provider stakeholders, to disseminate a common set of process measures for Collaborative Care.
  • Advocate for outcomes research related to elements predictive of optimal implementation of telemedicine-based Collaborative Care.
  • APA and APM should support for further implementation research that runs in parallel to the effectiveness of the core elements.
  • APA and APM should work in a coordinated fashion to support ongoing scientific research into the effectiveness of each of the essential elements of Collaborative Care in aggregate and individually, exploring opportunities to add, subtract, or redefine the essential elements as necessary to streamline implementation, effectiveness, and efficiency of Collaborative Care Models.

Payment Reform

  • APA and APM should create opportunities to educate public and private payer stakeholders on the essential elements of Collaborative Care Models.
  • APA and APM should develop resources for members to educate local and state payers of health services on essential elements of Collaborative Care Models.
  • APA and APM should support efforts to continue to research the cost-savings and added value of Collaborative Care Model implementation in real-world settings.
  • Develop advocacy platforms directed at state and federal agencies that foster the incorporation of Collaborative Care Models into the existing menu of reimbursable services.
  • Partner with allied medical and non-medical stakeholders in advocacy measures calling on funders to recognize, through adoption of alternative payment mechanisms, the potential value of Collaborative Care Models in healthcare reform efforts.
  • Develop recognition programs for payers investing in Collaborative Care Models to foster competition and positively reward innovation.
  • Include virtual clinical models when advocating for payment models that align with the core elements of Collaborative Care.

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