People with behavioral health conditions ― including mental illness and substance use disorders ― often face difficulty accessing appropriate care, which can lead to underdiagnosis, as well as delayed or even a complete lack of treatment. In Medicaid, this population frequently has high rates of chronic physical health conditions and unmet social needs, such as homelessness and food insecurity. With nearly 70 percent of the Medicaid population enrolled in managed care nationally, integrating behavioral health services into primary care through managed care offers the potential to increase access to behavioral health care and improve health outcomes for a large segment of enrollees.

This webinar, made possible by The Commonwealth Fund, explored how state Medicaid agencies can support behavioral health and primary care integration through managed care, with a focus on the benefits of integrating financing for both types of care. The webinar provided perspectives from health care providers in the field on the benefits and challenges of integrating behavioral health and primary care services.

YouTube video

Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care

This webinar is part of a learning series from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), Strengthening Primary Care through Medicaid Managed Care, which is examining the tools and levers that states can use to advance comprehensive primary care strategies and equitably improve the health of Medicaid enrollees. The series is made possible by The Commonwealth Fund.


I. Welcome and Introductions

Matthew Ralls, Program Officer, CHCS

M. Ralls welcomed participants and introduced the webinar topic and speakers.

II. A National Perspective on Behavioral Health Integration

Logan Kelly, Senior Program Officer, CHCS

L. Kelly provided an overview of how state Medicaid programs and other stakeholders across the country have approached behavioral health and primary care integration.

III. A Deep Dive into Arizona’s Approach to Integrating Behavioral Health Care

Jami Snyder, Director, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

J. Snyder shared how Arizona has integrated behavioral health and primary care services in its Medicaid program and financing for these services.

IV. Provider Perspective on Behavioral Health Care Integration

Justin Bayless, CEO, Bayless Integrated Healthcare and April Rhodes, President and CEO, Spectrum Health Group

A. Rhodes and J. Bayless, who both work in integrated provider settings in Arizona, shared perspectives on the impact of behavioral health integration on their practices and patients.

V. Moderated Q&A