You are here
Developing a Health Care Workforce That Supports Team-Based Care Models That Integrate Health and Social Services
Across the United States, health care professionals are joining forces to improve the health care of populations with complex social, financial, and behavioral health needs. One promising approach relies on community-based integrated health teams (CIHTs), or interprofessional teams that integrate a broad range of medical, behavioral health, and social services, offer intensive case management, and link patients to available community resources. Yet whether CIHTs fulfill their potential depends in part on policymakers enacting policies that support CIHTs delivering comprehensive, high-value care to their patients. Drawing on the insights of CIHT professionals shared with the authors, this Article highlights several factors that contribute to CIHTs’ success, namely utilizing community health workers (CHWs) to provide patients with high-touch care, including behavioral health experts on the care team, and increasing coordination between CIHTs and patients’ primary care providers. The Article then calls for federal and state policies that would promote expansion of the CHW and behavioral health workforce, provide more flexible and sustainable financing to CIHTs, and support primary care providers acquiring the financial resources, data capabilities, and personnel needed to either embedding CIHTs within their practices or coordinate with outside CIHTs.