Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) is a well-supported approach to care. Traditionally, this approach has focused on primary care clinics. The CentraCare System, based in Central Minnesota, has also found value in integrating behavioral health (BH) providers in the specialty care setting. As primary care is asked to take on ever increasing responsibility for complex patients, Specialty IBH can provide an opportunity for in the moment care during specialty care appointments, rather than deferring an additional concern to the next primary care visit. Adapting a primary care BH model, Specialty IBH providers utilize medically specific knowledge and experience to address BH issues within their respective departments, offering patients compassionate and effective interventions and resources. The IBH program at CentraCare currently includes 7 primary care sites, 4 sites served by Tele IBH, and 2 Specialty IBH Sites: Outpatient Physiatry & Rehabilitation (P&R) Department and Heart & Vascular Center (HVC). IBH providers in specialty departments support clinic culture allowing the systems of care to better understand the relationship between psychological symptoms, physical health concerns, and the role this plays to help or hinder medical treatment. Within P&R, the IBH provider offers opportunities for education, psychological support, and resources and referrals. Specific programs include brain injury therapy and support groups, as well as regular professional development opportunities for allied professionals. At the HVC, the IBH provider is available in clinic, in the acute hospital setting, and in cardiac rehab to assist patients with behavioral health symptoms, to support normative adjustment, and to facilitate health behavior change. Specific programs include education workshops as a part of the Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program and Shared Medical Appointments addressing hypertension. Both specialty IBH providers also coordinate with their colleagues in primary care to facilitate patients’ transitions between specialty and primary care. This adaptation of IBH has been well received by both patients and staff, utilized fully by the departments, and has garnered system wide support as IBH expands across CentraCare.
- Define Specialty IBH and their role within the health care clinic
- Describe the benefits of Specialty IBH to patients within Specialty clinics
- Detail the benefits of Specialty IBH psychotherapists to medical providers within Specialty clinics