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20 % of Primary Care Providers Say They're Incentivised for Behavorial Health

Source: Behavorial Health Business


The majority of primary care clinicians say they want to provide more behavioral health care but need additional training tools and resources. This comes as more providers and payers emphasize the benefits of primary and behavioral health care integration.

Nearly 40% of primary care providers (PCPs) are screening patients for behavioral health conditions, according to a new report from The Advisory Board, which included survey responses from 300 PCPs.

While the bulk of providers surveyed said the increase in screening is due to more patients presenting behavioral health concerns, only 20% of clinicians are incentivized for behavioral health screenings. Authors of the report note that when a provider is incentivized or reimbursed for the screenings, they are more likely to incorporate them into their practice.

Primary care is often the first stop for patients looking for behavioral health care. About 90% of patients with low-acuity behavioral health concerns said they are likely to seek care from their PCP, according to the Advisory Board report.

PCPs want more training

There is still a long way to go regarding PCP training. Half of PCPs surveyed said they receive 1 to 10 hours of ongoing behavioral health training annually, and 16% said they don’t receive any ongoing behavioral health training, according to The Advisory Board. The organization’s report found that more hours of training directly correlated with greater confidence in treating behavioral health conditions. 

Still, many patients are getting their behavioral health prescriptions from their PCP. The report found that 37% of providers surveyed don’t feel confident prescribing medications to treat behavioral health conditions, but 85% of those PCPs are prescribing the medicines anyway.

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