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Behavioral care integration visualWhen talking about the need to improve the U.S. health care system, there’s no shortage of aspects to address. Of increasing focus in recent years has been the need to integrate mental and behavioral health as elements of preventive care during a primary care visit.

For decades, mental health has been relegated to its own category, often not covered by insurance and difficult to access by patients. While the Mental Health Parity Act improved access to these resources, the disconnect between mental and physical health has persisted. However, health industry stakeholders have increasingly called for the integration of mental and physical health services, recognizing the potential impact on overall health and health care costs.

Related: Why more employers and insurers are turning to integrated health care

A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine attempted to identify the factors limiting increased integration. By surveying physicians and other stakeholders representing a range of practice setting, they found that, while providers are interested in offering more integrated services to better meet patient needs and improve their own reputation, there are obstacles standing in the way. These include:

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is managing editor at BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she spent the past eight years writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.

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