Behavioral Health Integration Program
The Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Program helps people get effective and efficient care for mental and behavioral health problems through primary care providers. Started in 2010, the program provides training and materials to primary care offices throughout the MaineHealth system, including Maine Behavioral Healthcare.
The aim of Behavioral Health Integration is to improve healthcare connections for patients between mental/behavioral and medical care. To assist Primary Care and Specialty Medical Practices in screening for, diagnosing, and managing patients and families with behavioral health issues, conditions, and disorders, BHI facilitates a standardized and supportive, team-based approach: Providers and office staff collaborate with care managers and behavioral health clinicians to implement individualized strategies for patients and their families.
- Patients will receive comprehensive healthcare in their medical care settings, which will include attention to both physical and emotional health. Care will be offered by an integrated team consisting of a medical care provider, clinical staff, a care manager and on-site behavioral health clinician(s).
- Patients will receive services in the most appropriate setting possible, determined by patient preference and clinical need. The integrated care team will link patients to specialty behavioral health services in the community. Communication and coordination between medical and behavioral healthcare will lead to high-quality care.
- The healthcare payment system will make integrated mental health services sustainable. Rules about how insurance companies and others pay for healthcare will be changed to remove current barriers to working together. This will include payment for care coordination.