Integrated care psychologists and value based payment.
In the emerging integrated care models, it will be important for psychologists to be able to demonstrate that their services are effective and of high quality through outcomes research, patient satisfaction measures, and practice guideline adherence. In addition, integrated care psychologists who can demonstrate that behavioral health services reduce other healthcare costs (i.e., reduction in hospital and emergency department utilization, etc, will be well positioned to integrate into healthcare systems, accountable care organizations (ACO’s) and patient centered medical homes (PCMHs). Psychologists will need skills in outcome measurement and technology to be successful in a healthcare reform environment (Nordal, 2012). Psychologists are well equipped to help organizations be successful with integration redesign using their knowledge of measurement. Outcome measurements such as PHQ-9 and GAD are already being used across settings to look at effectiveness of programs. Successful integration will require using data to make continuous improvements. Research suggests that behavioral health integration into medical clinics provides costs savings or cost offsets that reduce overall healthcare costs (Blount et al., 2007). Systematic outcomes research for integrated psychology practice could help to further this knowledge and potentially both improve practice and provide the data needed for psychologists to receive value based payment.