Harvard Pilgrim Offering Integrated Behavioral Health Programs

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is working with health care providers throughout the region on an innovative, multi-faceted plan to better coordinate behavioral and medical health care for patients. As part of this initiative, Harvard Pilgrim has made quality grants to selected providers who are working to integrate these two facets of health care. Integration is of particular interest to those providers involved in Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH), a model that emphasizes care coordination among a patient’s specialists and primary care providers.

“We want to weave behavioral health and substance abuse detection, intervention, and follow-up into the fabric of primary care,” said Joel Rubinstein, MD, Harvard Pilgrim’s medical director for behavioral health. “This encourages providers to focus on the whole patient, giving behavioral health as much emphasis as physical health, because they are both critical to wellness.”

Quality Grants

The quality grants have been awarded to nine physician practices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine for projects that bring a behavioral health perspective into primary or specialty care settings. Many of the recipients are making behavioral health providers an essential part of the Patient Centered Medical Home. The grants are given to a physician leader and support personnel such as a registered nurse or social worker, or behavioral health specialists such as psychologist, residents in training, behaviorist or peer support teams.

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