CHICAGO - The American Medical Association (AMA) has added four new practice guides to the Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) Compendium of best-in-class resources designed to help physicians and health systems create practices that incorporate health services for both the mental and physical needs of patients.

“For medical practices looking to accelerate behavioral health integration, particularly given the acute increases in psychological distress and trauma created during the COVID-19 pandemic, the trusted online resources offered by the BHI Compendium provide a proven path toward implementation and sustained success,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D.

The new how-to guides expand and enhance the ongoing work of the BHI Collaborative established and supported by the AMA and seven other leading medical associations, to make mental health care more accessible by helping physicians and their care teams through the barriers to successful behavioral health integration.

Four key barriers to accessible and equitable treatment for patients’ behavioral, mental, and physical health needs are addressed in the new guides, along with practical strategies to overcome each barrier. These barriers include:

Practice workflow design - The workflow guide identifies key questions and criteria to help establish an efficient and effective integrated workflow for addressing the behavioral health needs of patients.

Pharmacological treatment - The psychopharmacology guide offers strategies for reducing stigma associated with psychopharmacology and includes best practices to treat patients with psychotropic medications, when needed.

Substance use disorder screening and treatment - The substance use disorder guide provides actionable, evidence-based steps to identify and address unhealthy substance use and misuse among patients.

Suicide prevention for at-risk patients - The suicide prevention guide helps identify at-risk patients and connect them with the most appropriate treatment plan.

The BHI Collaborative also offers a webinar series with free access to remote learning opportunities to accelerate behavioral health integration. The growing series covers BHI topics that include collaborative cultures, billing and coding, privacy and security, telehealth, and health equity.

Through the ongoing work of the BHI Collaborative, and in partnership with other leading medical organizations, the AMA is committed to helping physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment, while ensuring a professionally satisfying, sustainable physician practice experience that meets the comprehensive health needs of patients.

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

ph: (312) 464-5970

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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