Collaborative Care Needs a More Active Policy Voice
ABSTRACT If you are reading this, there is a high likelihood you think collaborative care, or, the integration of mental health and physical health systems, is important to healthcare delivery and healthcare policy. Despite over 30 years of work, broad federal and state policy has been slow to adopt specific integration strategies that allow for more tightly coordinated, comprehensive whole-person care (Butler et al., 2008; Collins, Hewson, Munger, & Wade, 2010; Institute of Medicine, 2001; Institute of Medicine 2006). In the last year, policy shifts have brought integrated or collaborative care into the spotlight, but there is very little history of formal policy discussion in this area to guide progress. If FSH is to impact healthcare policy, enhance the quality of care, and move the healthcare system toward team-based collaborative care, we need more policy statements and discussions grounded in the research. By publishing these types of articles, FSH can help the collaborative care community be more influential in healthcare policy.