For patients with an initial primary care (PC) encounter in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) that included a mental health diagnosis, we evaluate whether same-day receipt of Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) services is associated with the likelihood of receiving a subsequent mental-health-related encounter in the following 90 days.
Using VHA administrative data, we identified 9046 patients who received VHA care for the first time in fiscal year 2009, received a PC encounter that included a mental health diagnosis on the first day of their VHA services and initiated care at a VHA facility that provided PC-MHI services. Using multivariable generalized estimating equations logistic regression, we examined whether receipt of same-day PC-MHI was associated with receipt of a subsequent encounter with a mental health diagnosis within 90 days. Analyses adjusted for Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran status, demographic characteristics, service-connected disability, psychiatric and non-psychiatric diagnoses, and psychotropic medication initiation on the index day of service use.
Receipt of same-day PC-MHI services was positively associated with having a mental-health-related encounter in the following 90 days (adjusted odds ratio=2.05; 95% confidence interval=1.66-2.54).
PC-MHI services may enhance mental health continuation of care among PC patients with mental health conditions who initiate VHA services.