This week, Behavioral Healthcare published an opinion piece on the role of behavioral health intervention within the primary care model. The author, Dr. Ed Jones, argues that a new structure for the delivery of primary care is needed, pointing to a number of disturbing statistics including:
- The 70 percent of primary care visits that can be linked to psychosocial issues; and
- The lifestyle and behavioral factors that can impact upwards of 50 percent of our well-being (e.g., diet, exercise, sleep and substance misuse).
Working within the team-based care model, Jones suggests leading with a behavioral health specialist–or, with the “head first,” he quips. By doing so, he writes, “…we might excel at: detecting the psychosocial issues that are motivating office visits; addressing strategies for changing critical health behaviors; and finally, diagnosing and treating unrecognized conditions like depression, anxiety and substance use disorder.”