One of the first things that BJ Dempsey, practice facilitator, HealthTeamWorks, does before she talks with healthcare teams about integrating behavioral health and primary care is to learn whether they have lost patients to suicide.
"I've found that it turns the tide," says Dempsey, who has five years of experience as a practice coach. "If the practice has lost someone to suicide it's very upsetting to the staff and they're motivated to doing something, even if it's not perfect."
That something is to start integrating behavioral health and primary care to ensure that patients get the help they need when they need it. HealthTeamWorks is one of 25 practice transformation organizations for the Colorado State Innovation Model (SIM), a federal initiative funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.