Earlier this year, Washington State finished a phased, regional process to transition from three fragmented Medicaid systems for physical health, mental health, and substance use disorder services into one integrated system. This transition was designed to improve care coordination and health outcomes for individuals with physical and behavioral health needs. Now, under Washington State’s new fully integrated managed care system, managed care organizations are accountable for physical health, mental health, and substance use disorder services in each region, while Behavioral Health Administrative Service Organizations manage the crisis system and other safety-net services. The state established 10 regions for contracting purposes, and each has chosen different pathways toward implementation based on the unique landscapes and considerations of their respective regional behavioral health systems.

This webinar, coordinated by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and made possible with support from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), explored Washington State’s transition to physical-behavioral health integration, with a focus on how this approach was tailored to the strengths of different regions. Featured speakers described lessons and implications for stakeholders interested in advancing greater integration of care and shared emerging data on resulting outcomes. Presentations also addressed the evolving role of public regional behavioral health systems, and how this financial integration fits into broader Medicaid transformation efforts to promote greater clinical integration.

This webinar is designed for individuals interested in policy approaches for advancing physical-behavioral health integration, with a focus on state-level efforts for integration that leverage the expertise of local behavioral health stakeholders.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speakers: Logan Kelly, MPH, Senior Program Officer, CHCS, and Catherine Teare, MPP, Associate Director, High-Value Care, California Health Care Foundation

L. Kelly provided a brief overview of the national landscape for physical-behavioral health integration, including key trends in state approaches. C. Teare described CHCF’s work to advance physical-behavioral health integration.

II. Overview of Washington State’s Journey to Integration

Speakers: Alice Lind, RN, MPH, Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Teresa Claycamp, LMHC, Integrated Managed Care Program Manager, Washington State Health Care Authority

A. Lind and T. Claycamp described key components of the design and implementation of Washington State’s transition to fully integrated managed care, including a summary of outcomes observed to date.

III. Regional Approaches to Integration

Speakers: Joe Valentine, MSW, Executive Director, North Sound Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization, and Isabel Jones, MPP, Deputy Director, Behavioral Health and Recovery Division, King County Washington

J. Valentine and I. Jones described how their respective regions transitioned to fully integrated managed care based on regional strengths and capacities, including lessons from these approaches for stakeholders interested in advancing greater integration.

IV. Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Logan Kelly, CHCS