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Integrated Healthcare: What Is It and How Can It Benefit Me?


High Country Behavioral Health is excited to announce that we are adopting an integrated healthcare model into our behavioral health organization. This means we plan to provide both medical and behavioral healthcare under one roof, at each of our locations. As of July 2023, we are providing integrated health care in our Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Douglas, and Evanston locations, with Lyman and Kemmerer locations soon to follow. We will continue to add medical providers to our behavioral health practices until we can offer integrated medical and behavioral health services to all clients, throughout our service areas.

You may be wondering – what exactly is “integrated healthcare” and how can it help me?

Let’s start by clarifying what “behavioral health” is, before diving into integrated health care. Behavioral health includes the emotions and behaviors that affect your overall well-being. It is sometimes called mental health, and at our organization, it also includes substance use. Behavioral healthcare is what High Country Behavioral Health, and its team of licensed providers, have been providing to our rural communities in Wyoming and Idaho since 1986.


What is Integrated Healthcare

Integrated healthcare is a model of care that brings together physical and behavioral health providers to deliver coordinated, patient-centered care. This approach recognizes that physical and behavioral health are interconnected, and that addressing both is essential for the best health outcomes.

The benefits of integrated healthcare are particularly evident for people with behavioral health conditions. Behavioral health conditions are often accompanied by physical health problems, and vice versa. For example, people with depression are more likely to have chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Integrated care can help address these interconnected health problems, which can lead to improved overall health and well-being.


Benefits of Integrated Healthcare

There are many benefits to integrated healthcare, including:

  • Improved quality of care: Integrated care can lead to improved quality of care by providing clients with a more comprehensive approach to their health. This means that providers can consider all the factors that contribute to a client's health, including their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.
  • Reduced healthcare costs: Integrated care can also lead to reduced healthcare costs by preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency department visits. This is because providers can identify and address health problems early on before they become more serious.
  • Increased client satisfaction: Integrated care can lead to increased client satisfaction by providing clients with a more convenient and coordinated care experience. Clients can access both physical and behavioral health services in one place, and they can be confident that their providers are working together to create a personalized treatment plan.


Proven Outcomes of Integrated Healthcare

Integrated healthcare is a promising approach to delivering high-quality, cost-effective care. There is a growing body of evidence that supports the benefits of integrated healthcare, and it is an approach that is increasingly being adopted by healthcare providers around the world. We are excited to be a part of this growing trend.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that integrated healthcare can lead to significant improvements in client health outcomes. The study found that clients who received integrated care were less likely to be hospitalized, had lower rates of emergency room visits, and had better quality of life.

Another study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that integrated healthcare can lead to cost savings. The study found that integrated care can save an average of $1,200 per client per year.

The benefits of integrated healthcare are clear. This model of care can improve the quality of care, reduce costs, and improve the client’s experience. As more healthcare systems adopt integrated healthcare, we can expect to see even greater benefits for clients.


Specific Benefits of Integrated Medical and Behavioral Healthcare

In addition to the general benefits of integrated healthcare, there are also specific benefits to integrating medical and behavioral health services. These benefits include:

  • Improved diagnosis and treatment of behavioral health conditions: When medical and behavioral health providers work together, they can more easily identify and treat behavioral health conditions. This is because they can share information about the client's physical, mental, and emotional health, which can help to rule out medical causes of behavioral health symptoms.
  • Reduced stigma associated with behavioral health conditions: When behavioral health services are integrated into primary care settings, it can help to reduce the stigma associated with behavioral health conditions. This is because clients are less likely to feel like they need to go to a separate behavioral health clinic to get help.
  • Improved coordination of care: When medical and behavioral health providers work together, they can better coordinate care for their clients. This can help to ensure that clients are getting the right treatment for their physical and behavioral health conditions.
  • Increased client satisfaction: Clients who receive integrated medical and behavioral healthcare are often more satisfied with their care than clients who receive care from separate providers. This is because they feel like they are getting comprehensive care that addresses all their health needs.


Integrated healthcare is a promising approach to providing high-quality, cost-effective care. By bringing together medical and behavioral health services under one roof, we hope to improve the health and well-being of our clients.

However, we would like to make it clear that clients can receive one service without the other. We are simply offering integrated healthcare as an option and as a benefit to our clients, but both medical and mental healthcare are available separately. Our clients are under no obligation to receive both services from us.

For more information on our integrated healthcare services, reach out to your nearest HCBH location.

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