Technical Report

Help for the Front Line: Approaches to Behavioral Health Consultation for Primary Care Providers

Commonwealth Medicine is now ForHealth Consulting at UMass Chan Medical School. More information available here. This content has not been updated with the new name.

In light of the need to increase access to behavioral health (BH) services, particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation commissioned a study from experts at Commonwealth Medicine to assess the need for a BH consultation program designed to help primary care providers (PCPs) support adult patients with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Researchers used mixed methods to investigate the types and extent of BH needs PCPs encounter, the challenges they face in supporting their adult patients with BH needs, and their interest in a PCP-to-BH provider consultation program. This study suggests the services and features that should be included in a consultation program to provide evidence-based support to help PCPs care for their adult patients with BH needs.