In 2018, Boulder Community Health (BCH) started a Collaborative Care Management pilot in primary care to better serve patients facing barriers of timely access to behavioral health and psychiatry. Collaborative Care is a population health model addressing barriers of psychiatry shortage by bringing psychiatric consultation into enhanced primary care paired with robust care management. This delivery model leverages existing provider-patient relationships, and people receive services within their familiar and convenient primary care medical home setting at a lower cost than specialty psychiatry. It amplifies scarce resources by allowing providers to consult on a panel of 40 or more patients weekly rather than dedicating 1 hour/patient.
In the first 12 months of implementation, BCH found increases in primary care provider satisfaction and capacity as well as encouraging treatment outcomes for patients. Pre/post staff surveys showed pilot clinics had statistically significant increases in provider and staff ratings of comfort treating behavioral health conditions and increased satisfaction with resources, outreach, and follow up when Collaborative Care was offered.
At the same time, implementation presented many challenges. Provider turnover and a system-wide priority of transitioning electronic medical record systems limited resources and capacity.
During this interactive presentation, social workers will have an opportunity to review patient case studies and dialogue around lessons learned from implementing innovative behavioral health programs within a complex and fragmented health care system.
- Understand the evidence-base rationale for Collaborative Care vs. care as usual
- Identify care team members and their roles, especially the key social worker role and relevant competencies
- Understand implementation challenges and tips for success