Background: Integrated behavioral health and primary care can improve the health of persons with complex chronic conditions. The Behavioral Health Integration and Complex Care Initiative (BHICCI) implemented integrated care across a large health system. Whether Behavioral Health Organizations (BHOs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) implemented the BHICCI differently is unclear.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate integration under the BHICCI and to understand implementation differences between BHOs and FQHCs.
Methods: We used a convergent parallel mixed-method design. Integration was measured quantitatively using the Maine Health Access Site Self-Assessment (SSA), which was completed by clinic teams at baseline and 24 months, and through n=70 qualitative interviews with initiative stakeholders, which were organized using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results were compared to understand how qualitative findings explained quantitative results.
Results: Data were collected in 7 clinics (n=2 FQHC; n=5 BHOs). FQHCs reported greatest improvement in the client centered subscale, with a baseline score of 4.6 (SD=0.64) and 7.8 (SD=0.89) at 24 months. BHOs reported greatest improvement in the organizational supports for integration subscale, with a baseline score of 4.8 (SD=1.07) and 7.9 (SD=1.1) at 24 months. Our Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research analysis illustrates contextual factors, such as insurance plan supports and clinic-level challenges, that explain these scores.
Conclusions: All clinical settings received support from the health plan, but differences between BHOs and FQHCs affected integration progress. Study results can help identify organizational practices that advance or undermine the delivery of integrated care across multiple clinical settings.
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