Innovation and Integration: Addressing the U.S. Mental Health Crisis through Primary Care Partnerships

Blue Shield of California and the Milbank Memorial Fund

Thursday Feb 24, 2022 04:00 pm to 05:00 pm EST
United States

California faces a behavioral health crisis. Nearly one in six Californians experiences mental illness, with the majority of serious mental illness appearing before the age of 25 during adolescence. Suicide rates have increased more than 50% since 2000, and overdose rates more than 50% in the first 12 months of the Covid-19 pandemic. The issue of mental health has been particularly pronounced for youth, for whom U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory declaring a mental health crisis in December 2021.

Behavioral health integration is key to providing patient-centered care and supporting behavioral health needs in addition to physical ones. NASEM’s 2021 report similarly creates a vision for the provision of high-quality primary care: whole-person care that accounts for the mental health of a person in addition to other needs.

Less discussed is the role that primary care innovation can play in tackling this crisis. The event will ground attendees on the issue of behavioral health, and how partnerships, payment innovation, and digital health in primary care can help to address this critical issue.

This will be a conversation about:
  • A vision for primary care that can address the issue of behavioral health
  • The integral role of digital health in providing behavioral health to communities
  • How payers, providers and other actors can align on payment innovation to support behavioral health integration in primary care
  • Why collaboration is necessary to strengthen primary care and increase access to behavioral health services
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