Montgomery County Hospital Partnership
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.
Goals & Objectives
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
Key Successes & Outcomes
- To understand better the scope and nature of behavioral health needs in Montgomery County, HCIF conducted analyses of emergency department (ED) utilization data in the County for 2016-2017. Results revealed the high prevalence of depression and anxiety diagnoses among ED patients, as well as the high frequency with which these conditions were comorbid with chronic conditions such as hypertension.
- With the goal of pursuing a coordinated, multi-institutional strategy targeting behavioral health issues upstream, the Partnership identified behavioral health integration in primary care as an opportunity and shared priority.
- Accordingly, HCIF has established a learning collaborative designed to support Montgomery County-based primary care practices in integrating behavioral health services such as screenings, assessments, short-term therapy, and consultations. The main programming for the collaborative will consist of four half-day learning events over 12 months.
Kelsey Salazar, Project Manager