An Introduction into Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration

While behavioral and physical health are deeply linked, our siloed and fragmented health care system does not treat them in a coordinated and holistic way. These gaps lead to avoidable delays in diagnosis and care for patients, exacerbating the current crises of suicide, overdose, and behavioral health morbidity. To that end, the continuum of “integration” holds promise as a way to promote team-based care that meets patients’ mental health, substance use, and other medical needs. This briefing highlighted how behavioral health and primary care integration can help improve the overall health and well-being of individuals, as well as explored the opportunities and challenges in policy and practice. Panelists also discussed potential federal policy levers for better enabling integration.


  • Amy Bassano, M.A., Managing Director, Medicare, Health Management Associates (HMA)
  • Parinda Khatri, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Cherokee Health Systems
  • Harold Pincus, M.D., Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Reginald D. Williams, II, Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations, Commonwealth Fund (moderator)

This event was made possible with support from the Commonwealth Fund.