Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare, announced it has been awarded three grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration totaling $4.8 million to support the integration of primary and behavioral health services at locations in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. The grants were secured by Centerstone Research Institute.
“Mental and physical health are critically interconnected,” said David C. Guth, Jr., CEO of Centerstone. “Unfortunately, today’s healthcare system often discourages meaningful collaboration and communication between primary care and mental healthcare providers, which can negatively impact patient care and outcomes. By combining physical and behavioral health services in single locations, we eliminate the divide that exists and allow these two integral parts of healthcare to collaborate to improve the overall health of those we serve."
Research has shown that half of high healthcare utilizers have coexisting mental and physical health conditions. Because there are few opportunities for primary care providers and mental health professionals to collaborate, primary care physicians are often called upon to address mental health issues while behavioral health providers can struggle to address the physical health needs of their patients. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of mental healthcare is delivered by primary care physicians.
Centerstone’s new grants will bridge the divide between primary and behavioral health providers. The three grants are each four-year, $1.6 million awards that will allow Centerstone to partner with local primary care providers to establish new integrated care programs in Williamson County, Ill., Monroe County, Ind., and Montgomery County, Tenn. Combined, the programs will provide comprehensive, integrated health services to nearly 2,000 adults with co-occurring physical health conditions and serious mental illness or substance use disorders.
“The integrated care programs these grants are helping us to establish will teach us important additional lessons about combining primary care and behavioral healthcare,” said Tom Doub, PhD, CEO of Centerstone Research Institute. “We are looking forward to uncovering best practices for collaboration and measuring the impact that bringing together primary care and behavioral health providers can have on patients’ health. This information will inform and support the creation of additional integrated care programs across the country.”
In addition to primary and behavioral care services, each program will provide specialty referrals, transitional care, preventative and health promotion services, individual and family support counseling, and referral to community and social support resources. A team of professionals, including primary care physicians, care coordinators, counselors, wellness coaches, and pharmacy technicians, will work with individuals to develop and implement integrated treatment plans.
Centerstone Research Institute’s evaluation services team will rigorously monitor, measure and analyze best practices and critical outcomes within the integrated care programs to determine their overall impact and effectiveness.