AIMS Center, Concert Health Partner on Telepsychiatry Collaborative Care Model

April 24, 2024
PCORI-funded project to facilitate mental healthcare for 2,700 patients with complex psychiatric disorders in primary care settings

The Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center at the University of Washington is launching a three-year, multi-state project in partnership with Concert Health to facilitate mental healthcare for 2,700 patients with complex psychiatric disorders in primary care settings. 

The project will leverage and scale a Telepsychiatry Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) to help identify and treat patients with bipolar disorder and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
San Diego-based behavioral health medical group Concert Health has partnered with several health systems, including Advent Health, Mass General Brigham, Mercy, and CommonSpirit Health. 

The AIMS Center is internationally recognized as the leading expert in Collaborative Care. They work with healthcare organizations, payers, policy makers, and others to support the widescale implementation of CoCM for diverse patient populations in a wide range of care delivery settings through implementation coaching, clinical training, and a state-of-the-art web-based registry.
The initiative is funded through a $2.5 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). 

PCORI awarded this funding to the AIMS Center research team to implement findings from the PCORI-funded SPIRIT study, which demonstrated that telepsychiatry collaborative care significantly and substantially improved clinical outcomes for patients with bipolar disorder and PTSD living in medically underserved areas. Telepsychiatry Collaborative Care is an evidence-based model in which an integrated primary care team, including a care manager and telepsychiatrist consultant, collaboratively identify and treat patients with behavioral health conditions in primary care settings. 

The study also found that this model efficiently leveraged behavioral health specialist time when compared to a traditional referral approach. Published in JAMA,  the findings are significant considering only one-third of patients  with complex psychiatric disorders engage in specialty mental healthcare, and only one-tenth receive adequate treatment in primary care. 

Over the next three years, Concert Health and the AIMS Center will scale the findings from this research, partnering with more than 150 primary care clinics located in medically underserved areas or caring for medically underserved populations across several states. 

The AIMS Center will train Concert Health’s lead psychiatric trainers and lead care manager trainers in Collaborative Care management for bipolar disorder and/or PTSD. They will then train Concert Health’s expert care team, who will then partner with primary care providers to screen patients identified with a behavioral health need for bipolar disorder and/or PTSD, provide treatment to their patients with a patient-centered “treat to target approach,” and provide psychiatric consultation, making specific treatment recommendations focusing on symptom reductions.

“After demonstrating the clinical effectiveness of telepsychiatry collaborative care for bipolar disorder and/or PTSD in our previous PCORI-funded comparative effectiveness trial, the AIMS Center is excited about partnering with Concert Health to scale-up the implementation of this evidence-based practice,” said John Fortney, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in a statement. He also is director of the Division of Population Health and an AIMS Center faculty member. 

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Evaluation: An AI Assistant for Primary Care

The AAFP's clinical evaluation offers a detailed analysis of how an innovative AI solution can help relieve physicians' administrative burden and aid them in improving health ...

From Chaos to Clarity: How AI Is Making Sense of Clinical Documentation

From Chaos to Clarity dives deep into how AI Is making sense of disorganized patient data and turning it into evidence-based diagnosis suggestions that physicians can trust, leading...

Bridging the Health Plan/Provider Gap: Data-Driven Collaboration for a Value-Based Future

Download the findings report to understand the current perspective of provider and health plan leaders’ shift to value-based care—with a focus on the gaps holding them back and...

Exploring the future of healthcare with Advanced Practice Providers

Discover how Advanced Practice Providers are transforming healthcare: boosting efficiency, cutting wait times and enhancing patient care through strategic integration and digital...