RMHP study: Integrating behavioral and primary care saves money

Using risk-adjusted payments that focus on improving quality in an integrated behavioral and primary care program saved money in Colorado, according to research published in Translational Behavioral Medicine on Rocky Mountain Health Plans' SHAPE (Sustaining Healthcare Across Integrated Primary Care Efforts) initiative. Six primary care practices in Colorado—each offering integrated, on-site behavioral health services—participated in SHAPE. Three received non-fee-for-service SHAPE payments to support provision of behavioral health services for 18 months, and three did not. Compared to the traditional fee-for-services control practices, the three SHAPE payment practices generated approximately $1.08 million in net cost savings for their public payer population.