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Title: Section 404.1 - Background and Intent

Effective Date


Section 404.1 Background and Intent

(a) Physical and behavioral health conditions (i.e., mental illness and/or substance use disorders) often occur at the same time. Persons with behavioral disorders frequently experience chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. These illnesses can be prevented and are treatable. However, barriers to primary care, as well as the difficulty in navigating complex health care systems, are a major obstacle to individuals with behavioral health disorders seeking treatment for their physical conditions.

(b) Primary care settings have, at the same time, become a gateway to the behavioral health system, as people seek care for mild to moderate behavioral health needs (e.g., anxiety, depression, or substance use) in primary health care settings. Health care providers have long recognized that many patients have both physical and behavioral health care needs, yet physical and behavioral health care services have traditionally been provided and paid for separately. Even behavioral health services have traditionally been treated in a bifurcated system (e.g., substance use disorder treatment is treated separately from mental health treatment).

(c) The term “integrated care” describes the systematic coordination of primary and behavioral health care services. The growing awareness of the prevalence and cost of comorbid physical and behavioral health conditions, and the increased recognition that integrated care can improve outcomes and achieve savings, has led to increasing acceptance of delivery models that integrate physical and behavioral health care. Moreover, most patients prefer to have their physical and behavioral health care delivered in one place, by the same team of clinicians.

(d) Accordingly, these regulations will prescribe standards for the integration of physical and behavioral health care services in certain outpatient programs licensed by the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Health, and/or the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.


VOLUME C (Title 10)