APA Joins Other Health Organizations in Support of Collaborative Care Bill
American Psychiatric Association
Mon Sept 13, 2021
APA has joined 17 other health organizations in supporting the Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner (COCM) Act. The COCM Act was introduced by Reps. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) in the House of Representatives on Friday. If enacted, this legislation would improve access to evidence-based mental health care and substance use treatment by supporting and investing in the implementation of the Collaborative Care Model in primary care offices.
In the Collaborative Care Model, a primary care physician, a psychiatric consultant, and a care manager work as a team to identify and provide evidence-based treatment for patients with mental health conditions, measure their progress, and adjust care when appropriate. More than 90 research studies have demonstrated this model’s efficacy in improving patient outcomes. Furthermore, treatment provided through the Collaborative Care Model is covered by Medicare, most private insurers, and many states’ Medicaid programs.
However, the Collaborative Care Model has not been implemented on a wide scale yet in the United States. The COCM Act will provide primary care practices with startup funds and technical assistance as they adopt the model. The bill also provides funds for research to build the evidence base for other models of integrated behavioral health care.“
The Collaborative Care Model is a proven method of reaching more Americans with quality mental health care services,” said APA President Vivian Pender, M.D., in a news release issued by the supporting organizations. “The mental health impacts of COVID-19 and the way it uprooted our lives led to high levels of anxiety and depression and record overdoses in our country. We applaud Reps. Fletcher and Herrera Beutler for introducing this legislation, which promotes an innovative solution that will help more Americans get the high-quality treatment they need.”
For more information on the Collaborative Care Model and training provided by APA, see the APA webpage Learn About the Collaborative Care Model.