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Policy Agenda 2014
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CFHA promotes health policies that foster the integration of mind and body, individual and family, patients, providers, and communities.  We promote these health policies that not only foster integrated designs, guidelines, and protocols and curricula, but also address barriers to implementation and sustainability.  We address health policy as it applies to clinical, educational, and research domains.  

Download a PDF copy of the Policy Agenda.

 


CFHA upholds principles of integrated, whole person care, driven by the needs of patients and families, as the standard of excellence at every level of care and in all healthcare settings; however, the policy agenda defined below is specifically focused on the integration of behavioral health in primary care.

Specifically, we promote policies that:

  • Fully integrate behavioral health providers clinically, operationally, and financially into medical healthcare settings
  • Integrate funding for comprehensive team-based healthcare to explicitly include behavioral health
  • Establish and promote inclusion of behavioral health as necessary to the success of current initiatives such as the Patient-Centered Medical Home, Accountable Care Organizations, and other team-based, patient-centered, and quality-driven care delivery initiatives
  • Develop training standards and curricula that support comprehensive team-based integrated healthcare
  • Support funding of clinical research that studies the value of integrated care and health services research that studies the means and processes whereby it can be accomplished and sustained


CFHA's health policy vision is consistent with the organization's mission to promote comprehensive and cost-effective models of team-based healthcare delivery that integrate mind and body, individual and family, patients, providers, and communities.  To this end, the policy agenda for CFHA recognizes that change in healthcare requires changes in policy that simultaneously impact clinical, operational, and financial domains to achieve the overall vision.  To frame our agenda, we identify the problems we see inhibiting the achievement of our vision and offer a policy agenda that supports comprehensive integrated healthcare.

It must be noted that the problem statements and solutions below reflect a point in time.  To be effective, any action agenda must be a "living" tool to be updated from time to time to reflect progress and a dynamic landscape.

​PROBLEM:  ​Fragmentation in healthcare is pervasive and most fundamentally seen in the artificial separation of the mind from the body.

  •  Promote policies that fully integrate behavioral health providers into medical healthcare settings.

 

PROBLEM:  Fragmentation in the payment delivery system does not encourage nor support team-based delivery of care.

  •  Promote policies that unify payment and connect behavioral health and physical health funding strategies.

 

PROBLEM:  The redesign of primary care through the Patient-Centered Medical Home does not adequately recognize, require, nor compensate for behavioral health.

  •  Recognizing effective implementation of the Patient-Centered Medical Home as an essential building block of accountable care, promote the inclusions of comprehensive behavioral health in the definition of enhanced team-based care in Patient-Centered Medical Home principles and criteria

 

PROBLEM:  Special interests, groups, and associations have inadvertently perpetuated fragmentation of delivery of behavioral health within healthcare; this complex set of competing interests has had a negative impact on the patients, families, and communities.

  • Place the patient at the center of healthcare and surround that patient with comprehensive services that promote integration between mind and body.
  •  ​Build collaboration between professional guilds and associations and professional special interests.

 
PROBLEM:  The current healthcare education and training system does not adequately or consistently support integrated care; instead, in the main, we continue to train providers to work as independent practitioners in their respective silos.

  •  Develop training standards and curricula that support more comprehensive integrated healthcare and an inter-professional workforce to deliver it.

 

PROBLEM:  There has been a lack of funding for pragmatic clinical trails related to integrated care.

  •  Promote enhanced funding for clinical research that demonstrates the value of integrated care, and health services research that evaluates the means and processes to accomplish and sustain it.

 

GLOSSARY

Behavioral Health:   An umbrella term for care that addresses behavioral problems bearing on health, including patient activation and health behaviors, mental health conditions, substance use, and other behaviors that bear on health.

 

Integrated care: The care that results from a practice team of primary care and behavioral health clinicians, working together with patients and families, using a systematic and cost-effective approach to provide patient-centered care for a defined population. 32

 

Peek, C. J., National Integration Academy Council. (2013). Lexicon for Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration: Concepts and Definitions Developed by Expert Consensus. In Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Ed.), AHRQ Publication No.13-IP001-EF.

 

Team-based care:  A dynamic process involving a group of individuals with complementary backgrounds and skills who work together to deliver services for which they are mutually accountable. Team members share goals and are mutually held accountable for meeting them and are interdependent in their accomplishment using collaboration, open communication and shared decision-making to affect value added outcomes for patients, organizations and staff.

 


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