What is integrated care?
Integrated care is the practice of combining medical and behavioral health services within the pediatrician’s office to fully address the whole health (both physical and mental/behavioral) of the child. Primary care physicians are often the first professionals patients and families confide in when behavioral health concerns arise. Integrating behavioral health providers into the primary care setting allows for patients to receive comprehensive, patient-centered care in a familiar and comfortable setting from trained professionals introduced to them by their trusted medical provider.
In pediatric primary care, integrated behavioral health professionals work collaboratively with medical providers to:
- Screen children and adolescents for developmental, behavioral, and social-emotional difficulties
- Offer anticipatory guidance (e.g., information on developmental, behavioral, and social-emotional changes that will occur and prevention strategies) during well visits
- Evaluate children for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), anxiety, depression, and disruptive behavior
- Develop comprehensive treatment plans
- Perform risk assessments for patients reporting self harm and suicidal ideation
- Support medication management of behavioral health conditions by collecting and analyzing data on changes in symptomology and negative side effects
Additionally, integrated behavioral health providers conduct brief (4 to 8 sessions), evidence-based, solution-focused treatment to help patients and families learn new skills to be successful at home, school, and in the community. Developmental and behavioral health concerns commonly treated in the pediatric primary care setting include:
- Disruptive behavior (e.g., noncompliance, emotional outbursts, aggression)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Anxiety (e.g., general worries/stress, specific fears, separation difficulties, obsessions and compulsions)
- Habits and Tics
- Toileting concerns (e.g., toilet training, daytime accidents, nighttime bedwetting)
- Sleep concerns (e.g., falling asleep, staying asleep, staying in bed, independent sleep)
- Learning concerns
- Autism and Developmental Delays
- Adherence to medical regimens
Currently, Savannah Behavioral Pediatrics is preparing to provide integrated behavioral health services within the SouthCoast Health Pediatrics – Savannah office. This will be the region’s first integrated pediatric primary care clinic! Appointments can be made by calling the SouthCoast Health Pediatrics office or by talking directly with your child’s primary care provider.
If you are a pediatric primary care office located in or around the Savannah, GA area and are interested in receiving integrated behavioral health services, please contact our office.