As Coordinated Behavioral Health Services (CHBS) agencies moved to increase the integration of behavioral and physical healthcare internally within their organizations, they acknowledged that to best serve their clients, to more fully address complex physical and mental health needs, they needed to access additional high-quality and comprehensive physical health resources. CBHS found those in a partner, Hudson River HealthCare (HRHCare), a network of federally qualified community health centers providing primary, preventive, oral and behavioral health care in the Hudson Valley region and Long Island. HRHCare equally wished to strengthen its access to behavioral health expertise for its patients who had serious psychiatric conditions, and in 2014, HRHCare and CBHS partnered to form an IPA specifically to address the integration of their respective services. This new corporation, CBHCare IPA, has consulted with numerous national experts on models of integration of behavioral and physical health services over the course of a year, as it worked to shape its integration strategies. We have learned that integration is not an occurrence, it is a process; that it can take up to two years for organizations to meld their cultures, operations and experience so that a successful strategy may emerge that meets the objectives of the Triple Aim. CBHCare partners have contributed countless hours of administrative and direct care practice to the development of a variety of integration models and configurations.
Throughout the CBHCare experience, CBHS behavioral health agencies continue to be impressed with the medical expertise and the deep caring of HRHCare staff for the people we serve in common. We will continue to strengthen our alliance and improve and expand the integration of our services as the CBHCare IPA moves forward into value-based contracting with managed care organizations. We anticipate that such contracting will support the opportunity to create additional integration projects focused on the DSRIP goals of reducing avoidable emergency room and hospital admissions and readmissions in the service of the Triple Aim.