Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Growing Need for SBM Membership in Integrated Primary Care Settings

William J. Sieber, PhD, IPC SIG Outlook Liaison

Integrated Primary Health CareSeveral national developments on the policy, clinical, and research fronts that affect members of the Integrated Primary Care (IPC) SIG members are also relevant to the broader SBM membership.

Enactment of parts of the Affordable Health Care Act has led to changes in the ways that IPC SIG members practice as team members in primary care. For example, enactment of Medicare reimbursement for depression screening has prompted several members to plan and implement universal screening protocols. Using research evidence to choose screening tools and implement processes based on patient need are yet another opportunity for IPC SIG members to be viewed as essential team members in delivery of care within the Patient Centered Medical Home as we are often qualified to select evidence-based screening tools. The US Preventive Services Tasks Force (2009) has suggested that such screening is to be done only when adequate resources are available to patients (i.e., integrated care to ensure patients who screen positive are linked with appropriate care). This recommendation will undoubtedly result in the need/opportunity for more SBM members to participate in integrated care settings and thus network with IPC SIG members on how to navigate the challenges of integrated care. Since reimbursement for such activities is vital, the PCPCC (Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative) has developed a web page describing methods of seeking reimbursement for depression screening.

With the growing emphasis on the integration of primary care with mental health, addiction medicine, and behavioral medicine, the need for research is high. Members are encouraged to leverage quality sources for such research including the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS) monthly newsletter eSolutions, the IPC SIG listserv, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Academy for Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care.

In an effort to promote high quality research in the area of integrated primary care, the Collaborative Care Research Network (CCRN) is actively soliciting members. The CCRN is a national practice-based research network affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physician (AAFP) National Research Network (NRN), and has been created to conduct translational research using prior research often published by SBM members. Network members are taking the lead on implementation science to better understand behavioral medicine research as it is applied in a variety of primary care settings. Being a member of the network allows one to access knowledge and experience of members on various topics related to the implementation of collaborative or integrated care, and the ability to join numerous research projects of interest to a particular clinic/site. Leaders of CCRN are currently working on conducting a survey of the membership to better identify those practice elements that best promote patient outcomes. Any SBM member interested in joining the CCRN should contact Bill Sieber, PhD, at bsieber@ucsd.edu.

A number of research articles have recently been published in the area of Integrated Primary Care. Two recent studies reported on integrated care. One study in the Journal of Health Disparities for Research and Practice showed a reduction in costs secondary to integrated behavioral healthcare for depression. A second study in JAMA showed that cognitive behavioral treatment for depression by telephone improves adherence compared with face-to-face delivery yet is associated with poorer maintenance of gains after treatment cessation.

For more information on integrated primary care and the various models being implemented around the US, visit the Integrated Care Models page of the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions website.



McFeature B, Pierce TW. Primary care behavioral health consultation reduces depression levels among mood-disordered patients. J Health Dispar Res Pract. 2012;5(2):36-44.

Mohr DC, Ho J, Duffecy J, Reifler D, Sokol L, Burns MN, Jin L, Siddique J. Effect of telephone-administered vs. face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy on adherence to therapy and depression outcomes among primary care patients: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2012 Jun 6;307(21):22278-85. PubMed PMID: 22706833.