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    Ryan Reaves
    Ryan Reaves

    In this episode of the Consultant's Corner podcast, MGMA consultants James Corbett, MDiv, JD, and Kate Bailey, MPH, shed light on the emerging topic of integrating behavioral health services into primary care practices. Their expertise and experience provided valuable insights into the successes, challenges and strategies involved in this transformative approach to healthcare. Join us as we delve into the key takeaways from their conversation with MGMA Senior Editor Daniel Williams, MBA, MSEM.

    Benefits of Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care

    Corbett and Bailey emphasize the numerous advantages of integrating behavioral health services into primary care practices. By bringing mental health services into the primary care setting, patients can receive comprehensive holistic care that addresses both their physical and mental well-being. So far, this combined approach has led to improved patient outcomes, enhanced access to care and a reduction in the stigma associated with seeking specialized mental health services.

    Challenges and Strategies for Behavioral Health Integration

    Throughout the conversation, Corbett and Bailey also discuss the challenges that healthcare practices may encounter when incorporating behavioral health services. These challenges include determining the most effective model, fostering effective communication and collaboration between providers, as well as addressing credentialing and billing complexities. To overcome these obstacles, they suggest strategies such as developing mobile crisis teams, implementing community-based care models and investing in workplace development programs for behavioral health professionals.

    The Role of Technology in Behavioral Health Integration

    Corbett and Bailey go on to highlight the role of technology in facilitating how behavioral health services can incorporate into primary care. They discuss the potential of telehealth and remote monitoring tools to enhance access to care, particularly in underserved areas. However, they emphasize the importance of ethical considerations, ensuring patient privacy and autonomy are prioritized when leveraging technology in behavioral health care.

    The Future of Behavioral Healthcare

    Looking ahead, Corbett and Bailey envision a future where holistic care is prioritized across all entry points in the healthcare system. They emphasize the need to address social drivers of health and adopt evidence-based behavioral care that is patient-driven and hyperlocal. By embracing these principles, healthcare practices can provide comprehensive and personalized care to meet the evolving needs of their patients.


    This conversation shared a strategic vision for weaving behavioral health services into primary care. While highlighting potential challenges, they provided a roadmap for this transformative approach that can impact the future of healthcare. By embracing behavioral health, healthcare practices can enhance the quality of care while increasing access to higher-quality care for everyone. 


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    If you would like additional tools and resources related to medical practice leadership or you have stories to share with us, email us at Daniel Williams at

    Ryan Reaves

    Written By

    Ryan Reaves

    Ryan Reaves is content coordinator at MGMA. He is a seasoned content professional with a background in both community journalism and sports apparel eCommerce. Ryan is skilled in proofreading, image editing, and writing online content in a fast-paced environment. At MGMA, Ryan develops and edits content for books, podcasts and consulting.

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