On October 21, 2010, seventy-five (75) people convened at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville for the Kentucky Health Policy Summit on Integrating Mental Health and Primary Care Services in Kentucky which was held in conjunction with the 12th Annual Conference of the Collaborative Family Health Care Association. The purpose of the summit was to engage key stakeholders and policy-makers in Kentucky with national experts in a discussion of strategies for integrating services within the publicly-funded primary care and mental health delivery systems in Kentucky. The format began with presentations from national experts and testimonials from Kentucky health care providers. Here's what we heard:
- To be truly patient-centered, a medical home must have mental and behavioral healthcare.
- Depression and other mental illness rank 3rd for overall economic burden of illness in America.
- In Kentucky, mental health services in primary care can save lives.
- Kentuckians with severe mental illness need better access to medical care.
- Costs to Kentucky Medicaid for behavioral health comorbidities were $844 Million in 2009, projected to grow to $1.2 Billion in 2019.
- Integrated models in other states are saving money: Colorado Access CM Integration net saving is $400 per member per month.
The day continued with a panel session and participant discussion moderated by Dr. Josef Reum of The George Washington University School of Public Health and included Kentucky Secretary for Health Janie Miller; University of Kentucky Health Care, Mark Birdwhistell; actuarial consultant Stephen Melek; and integrated care consultant Dr. Roger Kathol. Here's a sample of what we heard:
- Policy change is needed to promote medical service delivery inside Kentucky Community Mental Health System and to advance collaborative arrangements between FQHCs and CMHCs.
- Medicaid payment changes can promote collaboration and integration of services.
- An all payer claims database would help Kentucky better identify and track cost-effective care.
- Clinicians can share medical records under HIPAA; Kentucky statute that limit record sharing need to change, "moving at the speed of trust.”
- Changes in scope of practice laws would let providers practice at the top of their skills.
- Healthcare reform will give an estimated 300,000 more Kentuckians access to Medicaid by 2014.
- We need to keep working on this; hope there’s an action plan from this summit.
The Foundation for a Health Kentucky is considering all the themes that emerged from this summit and those collected from the participant evaluations and will be continuing conversations with state health officials and key stakeholder organizations. Participants of the summit will receive periodic updates and may be called upon to re-convene or provide information to support current efforts.
Important Documents that were presented at or resulted from the Kentucky Summit:
The Kentucky Summit thanks our organizational partners: