Integrated Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Integration Activities

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Divisions of Behavioral Health Services, Public Health Services, and Licensing Services, as well as the Arizona State Hospital, recognize the interconnectivity of an individual's physical health and behavioral health and the importance to assist and promote whole body healthcare for all Arizonans. ADHS has supported integrated healthcare through various activities including educating healthcare providers, policy makers and the community as well as addressing systemic barriers to integration.

In order to expand integrated healthcare efforts in Arizona, the ADHS strategic plan addresses a number of current and future integration activities that can be achieved through collaboration within the Department, external partnerships, and stakeholders.

Addressing Systemic Barriers to Integration

Behavioral Licensing Rulemaking: The Division of Licensing Services is working to streamline the licensing process for proposed integrated health programs by evaluating issues with the current behavioral licensing rules that inhibit integration as well as how licensing rules could be modified to properly address these issues.

Educating Healthcare Providers, Policy Makers, and the Community

  • Moving Forward: Implementing Integrated Models of Care in AZ: This 1.5 day forum took place on August 23-24, 2012 at The Mercado at Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix campus. Approximately 130 primary care and behavioral health care providers and policymakers gathered to share successful models for integrated behavioral health services that are being implemented in Arizona and nationally. Panelists included leaders from within Arizona and from the national level who are knowledgeable about integrated behavioral health initiatives. One of the goals of this invite-only event was to identify and develop strategies to replicate some of those successful models in Arizona's own healthcare settings, or adapt them for our providers' particular needs. View slides from the various topics presented.
  • No Health without Mental HealthPDF
    A poster presentation for the Arizona Public Health Association Conference in 2011 to show why behavioral health is a public health issue and how focusing on behavioral health, leading to whole body healthcare, aligns with the goal of public health to protect and improve the health of communities through education and promotion of healthy lifestyles. Also to discuss ADHS/DBHS role and healthcare reform in promoting whole body healthcare.
  • Arizona Integrated Models of Care in Behavioral Health and Primary Care Forum
    Sponsored by the Milbank Memorial Foundation, the Forum provided a series of presentations with strategies to address the unmet physical and behavioral health needs of individuals. Various national and local models of integration, lessons learned, and challenges for the future were presented and discussed. A report was produced discussing research, practice, and potential: The Arizona Integrated Models of Care Forum 2011PDF.
  • Quarterly Health Initiatives: Each quarter, ADHS/DBHS partners with a physical health content expert as well as the Tribal and Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (T/RBHAs) to introduce particular health topics of concern to individuals receiving behavioral health services. A "kit" for each topic is developed and includes a member handout, a provider handout, and a webinar. All kit materials are archived and available for use at any time.
  • Emergency Departments (EDs) Initiative: In the summer of 2010, ADHS/DBHS launched an initiative to partner with hospital emergency departments throughout Arizona to educate their staff on various behavioral health topics. The goal of the initiative is to provide proper interventions and referrals to treatment, recovery and other support services to all Arizonans who present to EDs for help with behavioral health disorders. ADHS/DBHS initiated an online, interactive training specifically for ED doctors and nurses designed to conduct substance abuse screening and suicide assessments for those presenting in the ED.
  • Whole Health Peer Based Programs: ADHS/DBHS spearheaded two whole-health peer-based initiatives to offer whole health services to members in Maricopa and Pima counties. Both initiatives consisted primarily of education and peer-based support teaching members topics such as nutrition, exercise, healthy habits, and many others. Members in both initiatives were monitored during the pilot phase for their progress and changes in several health metrics including weight, blood pressure, glucose levels, and others. This initiative was funded through a Transformation Transfer Initiative grant from SAMHSA and NASHMPD. The grant funding "pilot" period ended in March 2011 and produced a summary reportPDF with more details about both programs. Both programs were successfully established and tested during the pilot period and have continued to grow and become sustainable through other funding sources.
  • Tobacco Cessation Partnership: Since 2010, ADHS/DBHS has partnered with the ADHS Bureau of Chronic Disease and Tobacco to bring tobacco cessation education and treatment access to behavioral health settings.