Funder: Blue Shield of California Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation

Author: Logan Kelly, Michelle Conway, and Michelle Herman Soper, Center for Health Care Strategies

July 2019 | Brief


Integration of physical and behavioral health services has the potential to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for individuals with behavioral health care needs. In recent years, several states have begun contracting with comprehensive managed care plans to integrate these services and reduce fragmented care for Medicaid enrollees.

This brief, produced with support from Blue Shield of California Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation, describes how integrated financing influences the coordination of physical and behavioral health services at the point of care. It distills insights from providers in three states — Arizona, New York, and Washington State — that have recently transitioned to integrated managed care. Based on their insights, the brief highlights recommendations for states seeking to improve health outcomes through greater physical-behavioral health integration. It examines three key levers for advancing integrated care: (1) data and quality measures; (2) payment and business practices; and (3) integrated clinical service delivery.