- Larry V. Hook, MD, Medical Director, Collaborative Care (Integrated, Consultation/Liaison, and Emergency Behavioral Health), CentraCare, St. Cloud, Minnesota
- Jody A. Kirchner, MSW, LICSW, Manager, Collaborative Care, Centracare, St. Cloud, Minnesota
- Ryan M. Engdahl, PhD, LP, Director, Behavioral Health Operations & Collaborative Care, St. Cloud, Minnesota
The shortage of access to behavioral health professionals found in urban areas grows exponentially in rural settings. More than 65 percent of rural Americans receive their behavioral health care from a primary care provider. Furthermore, greater than 90 percent of psychologists and psychiatrists, and more than 80 percent of those with Masters in Social Work, practice in metropolitan areas exclusively. While an abundance of data exists supporting the efficacy of integrated behavioral health and of telebehavioral health services individually, few studies have considered these two subjects in tandem as it relates to the efficacy of IBH provided through telehealth modalities. In 2018, CentraCare received a three year grant from HRSA to address two specific goals: to use telehealth networks to increase access to behavioral health care services in rural communities; and, to establish an evidence-base for assessing the effectiveness of tele-behavioral health care for patients, providers, and payers. Using the principals and practices developed in its in-person urban IBH clinic sites as a foundation, CentraCare developed a network of rural clinics to deliver integrated behavioral healthcare through virtual health (telehealth.) Collecting data using the electronic medical record and surveys, the team has been able to develop comparisons between control (in-person) IBH clinics and tele-IBH clinics through the analysis of different metrics to better understand the efficacy of the models as it relates to experiences of patients, support staff, and clinical staff and outcomes. This evidence continues to inform opportunities for program adjustments and implementation with the goal to understand whether dual paths of a “gold standard”approach to IBH, one an in-person model, the other a virtual model, exist. This presentation will review the models and evidence as well as provide a framework for others hoping to build or expand programs appropriate to their unique settings.
- Describe comparison efficacy data between in-person and telehealth models of integrated behavioral health
- Discuss challenges to the telehealth delivery of integrated behavioral health
- Develop strategies for the development and implementation of a telemodality for integrated behavioral health