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In deciding how to deploy a Behavioral Health Clinician (BHC), the leadership in a primary care practice should think about the problems they most want to solve. The answer will help them choose between a co-located model, the Collaborative Care Model, and the Primary Care Behavioral Health Model. Over time most practices gradually evolve a hybrid that works best for them. 




A co-located model adds a behavioral health clinician to a primary care practice as an additional but separate service to improve patient acceptance of care (access) and communication with doctors for coordination of care.  Any patient can be referred to the BHC.

The Collaborative Care Model is focused on one defined group of patients, offering a defined protocol of evidence-based services for that particular group.

The Primary Care Behavioral Health Model makes behavioral health clinicians and their expertise part of the infrastructure of the practice. A BHC can be involved by the doctors in any situation in which they might offer an important contribution at any point in their patients’ care.

Blount, A. (2003). Integrated primary care: Organizing the evidence.  Families, Systems & Health: 21, 121-134.

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