Improving the Health of Older Adults by Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care

In January 2017, CMS approved reimbursement for services integrating behavioral health services and primary care to improve the whole health of older adults with behavioral health conditions. Services for which CMS issued new billing codes include: 1) behavioral health care management support and 2) consultation with a psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse under a Psychiatric Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) or another behavioral health integration model not requiring psychiatric oversight. To understand how primary care providers are using behavioral health integration models to better treat older adults with mental health, behavioral health, or substance use disorders, this webinar provided:

  • A historical overview of behavioral health integration into primary care, including the current Collaborative Care Model (CoCM), and expected improved outcomes;
  • Examples of how CPT codes (including codes for CoCM) for behavioral health services are being implemented in primary care settings;
  • Strategies to collaborate with primary care providers to advance behavioral health integration; and
  • A look at the future direction of behavioral health integration.

Presenter: Paula Hartman-Stein, Ph.D., The Center for Healthy Aging; Kent, Ohio

Dr. Paula Hartman Stein, Ph.D., is a geriatric mental health consultant and educator who has straddled the worlds of clinical practice, academia and political advocacy for improving the behavioral health of older adults. She covered Medicare issues for 20 years for The National Psychologist newspaper, edited two books, Enhancing Cognitive Fitness in Adults (2011) and Innovative Behavioral Healthcare for Older Adults (1998), and published book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles. Her work experience includes direct patient care in primary care settings, long term care, and private practice. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Kent State University and a geriatric clinician development award through Case Western Reserve University. Her current academic appointments include Senior Fellow at the Institute for Life Span Development and Gerontology at the University of Akron and faculty in the Integrated Primary Care certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She currently serves on the depression and elder maltreatment screen technical expert panels for CMS. In 2018 she will receive the American Psychological Association award for Distinguished Contributions to Independent Practice.

Resources: CMS Fact Sheet Behavioral Health Integration—Psychiatric Collaborative Care Model (CoCM), published January 2018.