It is commonly known that persons with behavioral health disorders die years earlier than the general population and further understood that the separation of behavioral health and primary care services, particularly in The United States, significantly contributes to this Inequity. Nonprofit providers are often the service delivery system that is on the frontline of this public health crisis. Although researchers and policymakers alike agree on the need for this improvement in the standard of care, change in the provision of services continues to be unequal within the community based, nonprofit behavioral health services sector.
The results of this pilot study sought to ascertain where US nonprofit, community-based practices have adopted primary care services and what impedes implementation. Using a convenience survey distributed through the National Council for Behavioral Health, (NCBH) a Washington, D.C. based, 501 (c) (3) trade association, we began to look at what service delivery barriers may still exist.
Unequal public funding and the competing high costs of employing primary care physicians should lessen state regulatory restrictions in order to allow for alternate medically trained professionals to serve as primary care service providers nationwide. This strategy may mitigate inequities within the service delivery system, and address public health policies allowing community-based organizations to adopt a more patient-centered, cost-effective, model of care coordination, intended on improving the health of the population they serve.