Primary Care Provider (PCP)
Most primary care providers (PCPs) lack the time required to fully explore a patient’s mental health problem. In Collaborative Care, the PCP has two additional resources to aid in mental health treatment: a Behavioral Health Care Manager (BHCM), and a Psychiatric Consultant.
The PCP works in close consultation and collaboration with the patient’s BHCM (who is available in-house or by phone/email). The PCP also continues to oversee all aspects of the patient’s care (including medication). The Psychiatric Consultant typically consults with the BHCM by phone and is normally not co-located. Treatment recommendations from the Psychiatric Consultant are relayed to the PCP via the BHCM or by the Electronic Health Record; however, there may be instances where the PCP and Psychiatric Consultant communicate directly.
The PCP Role Handout presents reasons why the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) benefits a PCP and gives a visual representation of the model to help solidify team structure and flow. An additional resource that may be helpful includes a paper stemming from the Washington State Mental Health Integration Program, which talks about physician satisfaction with a Collaborative Care program.
Components of integrated care undertaken by the care team that may be new to PCPs include:
- Proactive patient engagement
- Frequent measurement of symptoms with evidence-based tools (e.g., PHQ-9, GAD-7)
- Aggressive and proactive change of treatment plan when necessary
- Use of brief, evidence-based practice techniques that work best in a primary care environment
Applying the Integrated Care Approach: Skills for the PCP
Free, CME-eligible course developed by the AIMS Center and the American Psychiatric Association.
- Clinical skills unique to PCPs who practice in a Collaborative Care team.
- Obtaining Verbal Patient Consent for CoCM
- This resource offers general guidance on introducing CoCM to patients and gathering verbal consent for participation.
- Why Practice CoCM