Integrated Behavioral Health is a team approach to helping all of our patients achieve wellness in both body and mind. When a patient comes in for medical care, our medical and behavioral health staff work together to address all of the patient’s concerns, both problems of the body and any problems that affect daily living. In this approach, the patient’s team of providers asks the following questions: Can we identify our patient’s problems early? Can we help resolve them quickly? Can we help prevent further problems down the road? Can we help our patient identify themselves as “well” making healthy life choices? Some examples of typical behavioral health concerns might include feelings of depression or anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, and overeating.
In this model of care where the focus is on solving problems, behavioral health visits are brief (usually 15-30 minutes), limited in number (usually 1-6 visits), and are conveniently provided in the patient exam room.
The behavioral health providers are Licensed Independent Social Workers (LISW) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) and Doctorates in Behavioral Health (DBH).
Substance Abuse Treatment
North Lima Community Health Center is committed to helping our patients who are at risk for developing substance use disorders as well as those who have a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependency. The model of care we implement is a comprehensive, evidence-based, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services. This model of care is referred to as “SBIRT,” and stands for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment. This approach is used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol, illicit drugs, or misuse of prescription medication. SBIRT consists of three major components: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment. Screening is provided to all our patients to quickly assess the presence and severity of substance use or misuse and to identify the appropriate level of treatment. Brief Intervention focuses on increasing the patient’s insight and awareness regarding substance use, alerts them to the problem, and helps motivate them toward changing their behavior. Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a charge for the services Behavioral Health Providers provide patients?
Yes, all services at North Lima Community Health Center have a fee associated with them. However, we offer a minimum charge of $5.00 for behavioral health services based on one’s eligibility using Federal Poverty Guidelines and our sliding fee scale. In addition, the behavioral health providers are covered on almost all Commercial Insurance plans, as well as Medicaid and Medicare.
Why is integration of behavioral health and physical health care needed?
We all need to take care of both our physical health needs and our behavioral health needs. The mind and body cannot be separated. Symptoms and illness in one area impact the health of the other. National statistics have shown individuals with serious mental illness die more than 25 years earlier than the general population. This increased mortality is largely due to treatable medical conditions that are caused by modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity, substance abuse and reluctance to access medical care.
Why use SBIRT?
SBIRT has proven to be highly effective in motivating those whose substance use is unhealthy, to alter their use. Statistics indicate that of everyone screened, 20% are positive for risky, problematic substance use. Early SBIRT data show a total of 74% of high-risk individuals reported lowering their drug or alcohol consumption after one or more brief treatment sessions, and 48% reported stopping use altogether. Making behavioral health screening part of primary care makes sense. By taking this public health approach to substance abuse, we can lower health care costs because we are reaching individuals before they need specialized treatment.
How does SBIRT impact health care?
Alcohol and drug use is costing the American economy over $190 billion annually in lost productivity, injuries, disease, law enforcement, and criminal justice. In addition, patients presenting to local emergency rooms are 1½ to 3 times more likely to have alcohol-related problems. Research has shown for every dollar spent on providing SBIRT, there is about $3.81 saved in health care costs for primary care. In addition, SBIRT can cut hospitalization costs by $1,000 per person screened and saves $4.00 for every dollar invested in trauma center and emergency room screenings.