Collaborative/Integrated Care

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Integrated care refers to programs in which mental health care is delivered in primary care settings. Collaborative Care is a specific type of integrated care involving a multidisciplinary team, led by a primary care provider, providing scientifically proven treatments and focusing on patient outcomes. Significant research over the past three decades has proven the Collaborative Care Model to be effective.

In the Collaborative Care Model, in addition to the primary care provider, the multidisciplinary team includes care managers, psychiatrists, and frequently other mental health professionals. The team shares roles and tasks, and together the team is responsible for their patient’s health outcomes. One essential element of Collaborative Care is having a psychiatrist provide consultation to a care manager who coordinates with patients and a primary care doctor.

Psychiatrists have a particularly broad-based skill set spanning in-depth pharmacological and behavioral management of mental health disorders, including substance use disorders. Because of their experience and perspective, they are well poised to greatly advance the evidence-base of the care provided by the interdisciplinary team, provide depth for treating complex populations, and consultation and referral linkages for emergency situations that arise in the course of treatment. Psychiatric consultation can be useful across the spectrum of severity in presentation, and a helpful educational tool for Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) and Behavioral Health Care Managers (BHCM) alike. Evidence from large-scale Collaborative Care interventions have demonstrated improvement in outcomes tied, in part, to frequency of psychiatric consultation and caseload review (Whitebird et al., 2014).

OPPA's Integrated Care Committee meets on a regular basis to discuss issues related to development and implementation of Integrated/Collaborative Care models (for both public mental health and private psychiatric practice), as well as practical matters including skills training, reimbursement and quality assurance. The primary purpose of the committee is to help improve access to psychiatric care by sharing resources that will facilitate and expand integrated care models in Ohio.


American Medical Association

Bipartisan Policy Center

Cincinnati Children's

Health Management Associates



American Psychiatric Association

California Health Care Foundation

The College for Behavioral Health Leadership


Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services