Collaborative Care Implementation Costs Across Health Care Systems
Collaborative Care (CoCM) is an evidence-based treatment model for behavioral health integration. Typically implemented in general medical or pediatric settings, CoCM leverages the services of a specially trained behavioral health care manager to collaboratively manage a panel of patients with the medical team and a designated psychiatric consultant. CoCM has been shown to be effective in the early identification and treatment of mental health conditions. This integration of services addresses access barriers and the stigma often associated with seeking out mental health services. However, because questions have been raised about implementation costs associated with CoCM, we set out to analyze CoCM implementation cost data from 10 health systems nationwide that varied in size, geographical region, and urban/rural setting. The results of this study further confirm that CoCM is both efficient and cost-effective, its value driven by resource sharing and a drastically reduced need for psychiatric clinical time.
Key findings from the report include:
- The average costs per CoCM clinic implemented were $222,000, with this figure ranging from $49,000 to $653,000.
- Leadership personnel costs accounted for 70% of total CoCM costs, suggesting that efficient implementations for shorter periods of time may be favorable in reducing overall implementation spending.
- Direct CoCM operational costs accounted for less than 20% of implementation spending, highlighting the value inherent in CoCM that is driven by task sharing and the need for a relatively small amount of psychiatric consultant clinical time.