Healthcare Business News

Colo. program looks to integrate primary, behavioral care

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: July 24, 2012 - 11:15 am ET

As many as six practices in the Grand Junction, Colo., area will participate in a pilot program to integrate behavioral health and primary care and test the application of global payment methodologies.

The effort will be funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and will use the payment system of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Other organizations participating are the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine's family medicine department.

Disincentives for collaboration between primary-care and behavioral-health providers exist under the current healthcare system's design, according to a news release from the Colorado Beacon Consortium, of which Rocky Mountain Health Plans is a partner. One of the pilot program's goals, according to the release, is to "disrupt old business models in healthcare."

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"This is not an academic exercise," Patrick Gordon, program director for the Colorado Beacon Consortium, said in the release. "This will be a transformative pilot that is being built with the goal of replicating success across the country." The consortium is a healthcare quality-improvement organization with representation from four Western Colorado not-for-profit organizations, including Rocky Mountain Health Plans.

Gordon added that the aim is to "implement value-based, non-fee-for-service payments” for integration that will better support "behavior changes that are critical to improved outcomes."

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