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Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: The Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care.
J Am Board Fam Med. 2018 Jan-Feb; 31(1):38-48.JA

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Aiming to foster timely, high-quality mental health care for Veterans, VA's Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) embeds mental health specialists in primary care and promotes care management for depression. PC-MHI and patient-centered medical home providers work together to provide the bulk of mental health care for primary care patients with low-to-moderate-complexity mental health conditions. This study examines whether increasing primary care clinic engagement in PC-MHI services is associated with changes in patient health care utilization and costs.

METHODS

We performed a retrospective longitudinal cohort study of primary care patients with identified mental health needs in 29 Southern California VA clinics from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2013, using electronic administrative data (n = 66,638). We calculated clinic PC-MHI engagement as the proportion of patients receiving PC-MHI services among all primary care clinic patients in each year. Capitalizing on variation in PC-MHI engagement across clinics, our multivariable regression models predicted annual patient use of 1) non-primary care based mental health specialty (MHS) visits, 2) total mental health visits (ie, the sum of MHS and PC-MHI visits), and 3) health care utilization and costs. We controlled for year- and clinic-fixed effects, other clinic interventions, and patient characteristics.

RESULTS

Median clinic PC-MHI engagement increased by 8.2 percentage points over 5 years. At any given year, patients treated at a clinic with 1 percentage-point higher PC-MHI engagement was associated with 0.5% more total mental health visits (CI, 0.18% to 0.90%; P = .003) and 1.0% fewer MHS visits (CI, -1.6% to -0.3%; P = .002); this is a substitution rate, at the mean, of 1.5 PC-MHI visits for each MHS visit. There was no PC-MHI effect on other health care utilization and costs.

CONCLUSIONS

As intended, greater clinic engagement in PC-MHI services seems to increase realized accessibility to mental health care for primary care patients, substituting PC-MHI for MHS visits, without increasing acute care use or total costs. Thus, PC-MHI services within primary care clinics may improve mental health care value at the patient population level. More research is needed to understand the relationship between clinic PC-MHI engagement and clinical quality of mental health care.

Authors+Show Affiliations

From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS). lleung@mednet.ucla.edu.From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).From the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation, & Policy, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA (LBL, LVR, KBW); Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles (LBL, LVR, JJE); VA Health Economics Resource Center, VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Menlo Park, CA (JY); Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA (JY); RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA (LVR, KBW); UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles (LVR, KBW, CAS, JJE); VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI (EPP, MEM); University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor (EPP); UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, Los Angeles (KBW); UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles (KBW, CAS).

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29330238

Citation

Leung, Lucinda B., et al. "Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: the Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care." Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, vol. 31, no. 1, 2018, pp. 38-48.
Leung LB, Yoon J, Rubenstein LV, et al. Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: The Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2018;31(1):38-48.
Leung, L. B., Yoon, J., Rubenstein, L. V., Post, E. P., Metzger, M. E., Wells, K. B., Sugar, C. A., & Escarce, J. J. (2018). Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: The Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM, 31(1), 38-48. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2018.01.170157
Leung LB, et al. Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: the Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2018 Jan-Feb;31(1):38-48. PubMed PMID: 29330238.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Changing Patterns of Mental Health Care Use: The Role of Integrated Mental Health Services in Veteran Affairs Primary Care. AU - Leung,Lucinda B, AU - Yoon,Jean, AU - Rubenstein,Lisa V, AU - Post,Edward P, AU - Metzger,Maureen E, AU - Wells,Kenneth B, AU - Sugar,Catherine A, AU - Escarce,José J, PY - 2017/04/11/received PY - 2017/08/10/revised PY - 2017/08/14/accepted PY - 2018/1/14/entrez PY - 2018/1/14/pubmed PY - 2019/8/27/medline KW - Depressive Disorder KW - Health Care Costs KW - Mental Health KW - Patient-centered Care KW - Primary Health Care KW - Retrospective Studies KW - Veterans SP - 38 EP - 48 JF - Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM JO - J Am Board Fam Med VL - 31 IS - 1 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Aiming to foster timely, high-quality mental health care for Veterans, VA's Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) embeds mental health specialists in primary care and promotes care management for depression. PC-MHI and patient-centered medical home providers work together to provide the bulk of mental health care for primary care patients with low-to-moderate-complexity mental health conditions. This study examines whether increasing primary care clinic engagement in PC-MHI services is associated with changes in patient health care utilization and costs. METHODS: We performed a retrospective longitudinal cohort study of primary care patients with identified mental health needs in 29 Southern California VA clinics from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2013, using electronic administrative data (n = 66,638). We calculated clinic PC-MHI engagement as the proportion of patients receiving PC-MHI services among all primary care clinic patients in each year. Capitalizing on variation in PC-MHI engagement across clinics, our multivariable regression models predicted annual patient use of 1) non-primary care based mental health specialty (MHS) visits, 2) total mental health visits (ie, the sum of MHS and PC-MHI visits), and 3) health care utilization and costs. We controlled for year- and clinic-fixed effects, other clinic interventions, and patient characteristics. RESULTS: Median clinic PC-MHI engagement increased by 8.2 percentage points over 5 years. At any given year, patients treated at a clinic with 1 percentage-point higher PC-MHI engagement was associated with 0.5% more total mental health visits (CI, 0.18% to 0.90%; P = .003) and 1.0% fewer MHS visits (CI, -1.6% to -0.3%; P = .002); this is a substitution rate, at the mean, of 1.5 PC-MHI visits for each MHS visit. There was no PC-MHI effect on other health care utilization and costs. CONCLUSIONS: As intended, greater clinic engagement in PC-MHI services seems to increase realized accessibility to mental health care for primary care patients, substituting PC-MHI for MHS visits, without increasing acute care use or total costs. Thus, PC-MHI services within primary care clinics may improve mental health care value at the patient population level. More research is needed to understand the relationship between clinic PC-MHI engagement and clinical quality of mental health care. SN - 1558-7118 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29330238/Changing_Patterns_of_Mental_Health_Care_Use:_The_Role_of_Integrated_Mental_Health_Services_in_Veteran_Affairs_Primary_Care_ L2 - http://www.jabfm.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=29330238 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -