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Integrated behavioral health in the primary care setting 


Columbia County Health System has embarked on an integrated model of care since 2016. Integration means that our Primary Care providers are working alongside Behavioral Health Clinicians to deliver whole person care.  The prevalence of major depression is higher among rural communities than it is in urban populations and the studies indicate that it is likely under reported in rural settings because of the lack of resources needed to identify and treat the condition. Our health system started screening for depression as part of our Accountable Care Organization participation in 2016 and we discovered that 29% of our Medicare population screened as depressed with an additional 14% screening as having clinical anxiety. As an organization, we agreed that we would begin screening all patients aged 12 and up with the goal of screening 80% of our active patients. We are also proud to be a part of a Nationwide study on integrated models and we are one of 43 practice sites participating in the University of Washington and University of Vermont sponsored, 5-year study. 

The goal of the study is: To test a quality improvement process aimed at improving integration of behavioral health care in primary care. Learn more by watching this video: Dr. Littenberg Interview: Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care.