Best practices guide on integrating behavioral health into primary care for New England

Up to 70% of physician visits involve a mental health issue and health care costs for people with mental health issues are often up to three times higher than other patients with similar conditions. CEPAC, New England’s comparative effectiveness council, has published their latest guide featuring best practices for integrating behavioral health services into primary care practice. Based on the strongest evidence base, CEPAC’s membership of providers and consumer representatives from across the region, voted to endorse the Collaborative Care Model of integration. But the group noted that practices pursuing integration “should use available resources and seek guidance from organizations that have experience with the CCM and other models while accounting for differences in population, resources, treatment priorities, and funding.” In addition to the full report, CEPAC has published a guide for policymakers and other decision makers, and a New England-specific action guide that includes resources and implementation support for our region.