Evaluation of the Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration Program

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Improving overall wellness and physical health of people with serious mental illness is an important public health concern. The Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration (PBHCI) program makes an array of coordinated primary care services available in community health centers where many of these individuals already receive care. The program provides resources and technical assistance to help centers:

  • Co-locate medical services
  • Offer wellness programming focused on self-management of chronic diseases, obesity, nutrition, exercise, and cessation of tobacco use
  • Strengthen linkages with other community providers 

The first cohort of 13 grantees launched programs in 2009. From 2009 to 2016, SAMHSA awarded a total of 215 grants in nine cohorts

Mathematica is conducting a comprehensive cross-site evaluation of the program. The evaluation includes an impact study to understand the health outcomes of PBHCI clients relative to comparison groups, an implementation study to understand the extent to which the services PBHCI clients receive are indicative of integrated care, and a study of differences in service delivery and outcomes across cohorts.

The research team is using a mixed-methods approach.  Data sources, include document reviews, key informant interviews, site visits, and consumer focus groups; client-level outcome data submitted by grantees and collected from a comparison group; data from electronic health records; and data from a survey of grantee staff. We are also providing evaluation-related technical assistance to help grantees extract data from their electronic health records and submit high-quality data to SAMHSA.