medical discussion

Integrated Care

The changing landscape of health care delivery has created innovative opportunities to provide better psychological care through integrated models.

APA has identified opportunities for practicing psychologists to embrace a model in which they combine or augment services at the point of primary or specialty care. Such integrated services have been shown to improve people’s access to mental health care, reduce stigma and address psychosocial factors that worsen health outcomes across the lifespan. Psychologists’ roles in integrated care continue to expand.

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded APA’s Center for Psychology and Health $2 million under a three-year, cooperative agreement to help train psychologists to work in integrated health care systems. During the three-year award period, APA’s Integrated Health Care Alliance (IHCA) will lead an education and workforce development project that will provide more than 5,000 psychologists with clinical and leadership skills needed to participate as part of integrated care programs. Clinicians who participate in this collaborative, peer-based learning initiative will eventually be part of leading and creating positive change for the entire health system.

Psychologists on interprofessional health care teams improve treatment outcomes and lower costs. This funding will enable APA to increase the number of psychologists who will be trained to work on these teams, in partnership with physical health professionals, to treat the whole person.
—Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, APA President

Psychologists in Integrated Health Care: Interprofessional Team-Care for Well-Being

As part of its ongoing effort to promote awareness of how integrated care works and benefits society, APA has developed the Psychologists in Integrated Health Care video series. The series provides a behind-the-scenes look at how psychologists in integrated health contribute to improved patient satisfaction and better health by working collaboratively with physicians, patients and families.