Imagine a visit with your child’s pediatrician where you expressed a concern, like some new concerning behavior your child is exhibiting, issues with your child’s performance at school or some help you need working with improving your child’s health behaviors. Then imagine that your physician seamlessly invites a behavioral health professional into the room right then and there to provide some expert counsel and reassurance. That’s the promise of integrated care for pediatrics. Read more below!
Pediatrics for integrated care refers to a pediatric-based integrated model of care where the medical team is inclusive of medical, behavioral, and allied health professionals working together to improve the health and wellness of children, adolescents, and the family; taking a systemic perspective. This is important to ensure we are able to meet the whole health needs of our patients and community. Providing integrated care for the pediatric population also provides a key opportunity to engage in preventative care which can help catch problems either before or soon after they develop.
ntegrated care is proliferating throughout the healthcare system. We must provide this service delivery model within pediatrics for the highest return on investment. NIH Statement on integrated care and pediatrics: “Addressing the whole person and his or her physical and behavioral health is essential for positive health outcomes and cost-effective care. Many people may not have access to mental health care or may prefer to visit their primary health care provider. Although most primary care providers can treat mental disorders, particularly through medication, that may not be enough for some patients. Historically, it has been difficult for a primary care provider to offer effective, high-quality mental health care when working alone. Combining mental health services/expertise with primary care can reduce costs, increase the quality of care, and, ultimately, save lives. Most children with mental health conditions are treated in a primary care setting instead of a specialized mental health setting. About half of all mental health disorders begin by age 14. Accurate diagnoses and quality care are vital in a primary care setting.” (Retrieved from: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/integrated-care/index.shtml) Furthermore, setting the stage for a lifetime of health promoting behaviors is a critical and essential feature of pediatric care delivery. Exposure to a team of professionals working together can also reduce the stigma for children and their parents for working through behavioral health issues.
- Kolko, D. (2015). The Effectiveness of Integrated Care on Pediatric Behavioral HealthOutcomes and Opportunities. JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(10):894-896. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.1428
- Elizabeth Tobin Tyler, JD, MA, Rachel L. Hulkower, JD, MSPH, and Jennifer W. Kaminski, PhD (March, 2017). Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care: Considerations and Opportunities for Policymakers, Planners, and Providers. Milbank Report. Retrieved from: https://www.milbank.org/publications/behavioral-health-integration-in-pediatric-primary-care-considerations-and-opportunities-for-policymakers-planners-and-providers/
CFHA and the Pediatrics Special Interest Group (SIG) grows interest and enthusiasm, provides learning experiences, and promotes actionable dissemination activities among CFHA members regarding Pediatric Integrated Care delivery to include, but not be limited to the following aspects of the model:
- Funding, Policy, and Procedures for Pediatric Integrated Care
- Provider and Team-Based Clinical, Administrative, and Operational Skill Acquisition for competent Pediatric Integrated Care
- Graduate, Intern, and Postdoctoral Fellow Training Models
- Research and Program Evaluation in Pediatrics
- Advocacy for Pediatric Integrated and Team Based Service Models
- Collaborate and Strengthen Liaison Relationships with Other National Organizations for Advocacy
- The SIG will also promote and support CFHA conference workshops and presentations focusing on Pediatric Integrated Care Service Model delivery.