Integrated behavioral health practice facilitation in patient centered medical homes: A promising application

UMMS Affiliation

School of Medicine; Senior Scholars Program; Commonwealth Medicine, Office of Program Development

Faculty Mentor

Debra Hurwitz

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Medical Education | Mental and Social Health


INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to assess the degree of behavioral health (BH) integration change in patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) when using a practice facilitator (PF) specially trained in implementing integrated care and how a quasi-experimental design assists in this process.

METHOD: Twelve PCMHs, 8 Federally Qualified Health Centers and 4 private practices, with varying degrees of BH services participated in this study. The degree of BH integration was assessed with a quasi-experimental design using the Maine Health Access Foundation's Site Self Assessment (MeHAF SSA) at baseline and after implementing site-specific BH services. The sites tracked completion of unique objectively measured goals being implemented using the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) score.

RESULTS: At the conclusion of the study, sites saw a statistically significant increase in the level of BH integration from a baseline of 2.73 (SD = 0.44) to a postintervention score of 3.49 (SD = 0.22) with improvements from mild-moderate overall integration to moderate-advanced overall integration (p < .001). In addition, 10 out of the 12 sites achieved successful implementation of unique goals with assistance from the PF.

DISCUSSION: This study provides the first quasi-experimental/pretest-posttest evidence utilizing real-world data that the practice facilitation method is an effective solution toward increasing the degree of BH integration. This paper describes the real-world efforts to evaluate the degree of BH integration change in PCMHs when using a PF with content expertise in BH integration within primary care.


patient-centered medical home, behavioral health care

DOI of Published Version



Fam Syst Health. 2017 Jun;35(2):227-237. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000273.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Families, systems and health : the journal of collaborative family healthcare


First author Sarah S. Roderick participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID