Since November 2013, HealthSpark Foundation has convened leadership from Montgomery County hospitals, federally qualified health centers, behavioral health providers, and the health department to explore opportunities to build a partnership that fulfills the Affordable Care Act’s mandates to assess and improve community health. HCIF was engaged in October 2015 to facilitate the development of a partnership model focused on collaborating to more effectively address the unmet needs of the County’s most vulnerable residents.
1. Improved health outcomes for individuals with behavioral health needs in Montgomery County
2. Increased system capacity in Montgomery County to provide high quality, integrated care characterized by timely access to care/services that are person-centered, cost-effective, and appropriate (“right care at right time”)
3. Decreased stigma associated with mental health issues, increased general community mental wellness in Montgomery County
1. HCIF developed an action plan to set partners up for specific, collaborative action over a 12-month period. The action plan focused on five objectives—with associated strategies, proposed action steps, and evaluation measures—designed to tackle at least one specific aim and align with relevant federal, state, and local priorities.
2. Partnership participants prioritized the following two strategies for initial collective action from the action plan:
a. Conduct data collection and analysis of the incidence and nature of visits to Montgomery County EDs by patients with behavioral health diagnoses. The findings of this analysis will inform development of hospital partners’ improvement plans to more effectively respond to the behavioral health needs of the patients they serve.
b. Develop and widely disseminate an asset map of behavioral health resources in Montgomery County as part of efforts to build an infrastructure for a comprehensive referral system.
3. Partnership participants have formalized their agreement to pursue these strategies together through signed commitment forms.