New York State Health Foundation

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Montefiore Medical Center

  • Project Title: Using a Continuum-based Framework to Implement Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care Settings in New York State
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Grant Amount: $215,670
  • Date Awarded: September 30, 2016
  • Region: Statewide
  • Region: New York City
  • Website:
  • Grant Status: In Progress


The need to integrate high-quality treatment and management of depression, anxiety, and other common behavioral health conditions into primary care has been well documented. Furthermore, most patients prefer receiving behavioral health treatment from providers with whom they already have an established relationship, such as their primary care providers. However, integrating behavioral health into primary care practices remains a challenge because of the varying structures and sizes of these practices across the State. Through a review of best-practice integration models and substantial input from various experts and stakeholders, Montefiore Medical Center (Montefiore) developed a framework that delineates a series of steps that practices can take to integrate behavioral health services and track progress based on a practice’s available resources, size, and structure. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded a grant to Montefiore, with co-funding from United Hospital Fund, to provide a practical implementation approach to integrating behavioral health services in primary care practices.

Under this grant, Montefiore will test the feasibility, utility, and implementation of the framework it developed to help primary care practices increase their ability to serve patients with mental health issues. Montefiore will pilot the framework at four small and/or medium-size practices in upstate New York. Specifically, each participating practice will use the framework to self-assess and develop appropriate goals and timelines. In addition, Montefiore will provide targeted technical assistance early in the implementation process and continue to provide support and opportunities for collaboration through group and site-specific webinars every six months. Finally, Montefiore will conduct an evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the framework approach, measure each practice’s progression, and determine whether integration of the framework resulted in improved identification and treatment of people with behavioral health disorders in primary care settings. Issue briefs and a final report will be produced to summarize the project’s results and offer recommendations for use of the framework. Funds from United Hospital Fund will be used to support a parallel pilot at four New York City-based primary care practices.

Read the report, "Advancing the Integration of Behavioral Health into Primary Care for Small Practices."