About CHRT

Exploring behavioral health care integration models for workforce planning

December 2019 – August 2020
Client(s): University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Partner(s): Angela Beck, Director, University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

Integrating behavioral health workers into primary care settings allows physicians to focus on medical needs while their patients have convenient access to mental health and substance use treatment professionals. However, behavioral health care workers are in short supply, particularly in rural areas across the country. To understand the impact integration will have on workforce supply, the University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center has been asked to explore four behavioral health care integration models.

CHRT’s role:

For the University of Michigan Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center, CHRT will explore two models of behavioral health care: 1) behavioral health care integration into primary care settings and 2) collaborative care models. CHRT’s work will include an extensive literature review to identify the most relevant data sources, compilation and evaluation of data sets, and key informant interviews to lend context to the data collected.

Major deliverables will include reports on the two models of behavioral health care integration, a literature review, and contributions to a national database constructed by the Health Workforce Technical Assistance Center (HWTAC), which provides technical assistance--including workforce data collection, analysis, and information dissemination--to states and organizations that engage in health workforce planning.

The literature review will serve to identify the ways that workforce supply and demand may be affected by these two behavioral health care models. It will guide the researchers’ focus on the necessary components of the delivery models and ultimately help determine which variables and data sources should be included in the HWTAC database. And once the database components are identified, CHRT will work with the BHWRC to develop an appropriate interview protocol; will identify two subject matter experts for each of the two models of care to interview; will conduct, record, and transcribe the key informant interviews; and will evaluate the results.