Center hosts conference on integrating behavioral health and primary care
Editors' Note: This story ran in our November newsletter, published Nov. 1.
The Mid-America MHTTC hosted the Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care: Creating the Medical Home Conference on Oct. 18.
The Center's first conference of Year 2, held at the University of Nebraska Omaha, welcomed approximately 25 attendees who participated in engaging breakout sessions pertaining to integrated care.
Doug Tynan, Ph.D., founder of the Office for Integrated Health Care at the American Psychological Association, gave a national perspective on the field in his keynote address. Highlights from his presentation include:
- Models for integrated care can be helpful and are backed by data, but ultimately each clinic needs to adopt its own plan to fit its needs.
- Behavioral health interventions have a direct impact on physical health. Treating behavioral health disorders addresses impacts of many of the physical complaints presenting in primary care clinics.
- The savings that primary care clinics can net by integrating behavioral health care are important, but the more important indication is that the population being served is healthier.
During the breakout sessions, Joe Evans, Ph.D., and Holly Roberts, Ph.D., licensed psychologists and faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, delved into the logistics of integration and shared real-world scenarios in which embedded behavioral health specialists have benefited both the primary care physicians and patient health.
At the end of the day, Dr. Roberts and Marley Doyle, M.D., a psychiatrist and the director of the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, closed out the conference by sharing in-depth examples and methods to access psychiatric care in Nebraska.