Spotlight on Fenway Health – Making Behavioral Health Part of Primary Care

<img class=" wp-image-4310" src="" alt=" Fenway Health "width =" 497 "height =" 281 "/> Fenway Health
Jane Powers, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health
Alicia Anderson, Director of Quality Improvement

The patients of Fenway Health could not be more diverse.This federally qualified community health center, with three locations in Boston, serves more than 30,000 people from many racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. half of patients identify as LGBT.

Fenway Health – Leading the Way in Integrating Behavioral Health

Behavioral health is a big part of Fenway's care, and this has been happening for decades, says Jane Powers, director of the Behavioral Health Department. "This comes from the fact that Fenway was at the forefront of dealing with the HIV and AIDS epidemic [in] in the mid-1980s. We have always had a strong presence of case management and medical social work within the primary care model, which has evolved over the past 30 years. "

"We have always had social workers integrated into our primary care practice in different roles over the years," says Alicia Anderson, Director of Quality Improvement. "And we had sought to expand that role and integrate them much more into the primary care team beyond our historical integration, which was around more community resources and coordination of care issues."

Fenway Health, a NCQA Level 3 PCMH, is engaged in a patient-centered home care model. It was therefore natural that he was working with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) to help develop the PCMH PRIME program in Massachusetts. HPC and NCQA developed the PCMH PRIME Certification Program which identifies the criteria for integrating behavioral care into primary care and certifies practices that meet these criteria.

Fenway Health was the first to be certified under PCMH PRIME in Massachusetts, and its behavioral health services are expanding. About 40 clinicians provide traditional behavioral health; 7 are integrated into the medical setting. Powers says it makes a huge difference. "Our patients have said that it lowers barriers to the delivery of behavioral health services.Some also say that it minimizes stigma because instead of being referred to a specialist who is identified explicitly as a behavioral health clinician or therapist, they meet someone who is part of their health care team, directly in the medical community.Thus, it reduces barriers, reduces stigma and promotes access. "

The Road to PCMH PRIME Certification

Anderson says that the process of obtaining the PCMH PRIME certification went off smoothly, with Fenway already being recognized by the PCMH. "We felt that it made sense to seek this recognition since we had already worked so hard to try to bring behavioral care into primary care. And we have always seen these employees be part of the primary care team. "

"For me, as a clinician, the certification confirms that it's the best practice," says Powers. "It's exciting to see this recognized – best of all, I think it's best for Massachusetts residents, no matter where they receive their care, they should be able to have it." a practice that understands the importance of behavioral health in primary care settings. "

<img src="" width="100" height="100" alt=" Cindy Peña "class =" avatar avatar-100 wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-100 photo alignnone "/>

Cindy is Senior Communications Manager at NCQA. Its goal is to educate consumers through the media and public relations. Cindy is a strategist of communications and public engagement with an experience rooted in television reporting. She is also part of NCQA's creative services unit, developing messages through visual storytelling.


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