Mental Health Integration (MHI)

What is MHI?

MHI is collaborative mental health care that is integrated into everyday primary care practice. There are many evidence-based approaches to MHI, but typically there is a licensed mental health professional working as part of the primary care clinic to help clarify the patient's diagnosis, determine complexity, and plan treatment. In a team-based MHI model, primary care providers (PCPs) and office staff collaborate with care managers and mental health specialists to implement individualized strategies, which:

  • Improve clinical decisions
  • Help patients and families receive services within the primary care setting
  • Reduce PCP burden

How Does Select Health Support Your MHI Strategy?

Select Health accommodates and supports all forms of evidence-based MHI. For any clinic using an evidence-based MHI strategy, Select Health:

  • Provides credentialing and contracting support when you need to add team members
  • Shares data and resources to help your clinic succeed with MHI

How is Depression Screening Key to MHI?

Care that combines depression screening with adequate support systems, such as talk therapy and medication management, improves clinical outcomes for patients. These evidence-based patient health questionnaires can be administered by a variety of staff using different approaches:

  • PHQ-2: A brief screening tool that can be used during a routine intake or annual physical examination
  • PHQ-9: A tool administered to patients with a positive PHQ-2 screening result to confirm the diagnosis and assess severity

Learn more about typical MHI workflows, administering and scoring depression screening tools, and submitting MHI claims using the MHI Tools for Your Practice links below.

MHI Terminology

  • Mental health treatment and services: Associated with a wide range of mental health conditions that affect mood, thinking, and behavior
  • Behavioral health treatment and services: Associated with behavioral factors in chronic illness care, physical disease symptoms associated with stress and health behaviors, and common mental health and substance use conditions1
  • Mental Health Integration (MHI): Collaborative mental health care that is integrated into everyday primary care practice; common strategies are coordinated, co-located, or integrated care
  • Coordinated Care: Minimal collaboration or basic collaboration at a distance
  • Co-located Care: Basic collaboration onsite or close collaboration, with some system integration
  • Integrated Care: Team-based care delivered in close collaboration, either in a partly integrated practice or full collaboration in a transformed/merged practice.

Important Links and Tools