People with a serious mental illness have increased mortality that is largely from treatable medical conditions caused by risk factors like smoking, obesity, substance abuse, and not accessing primary and acute medical care. Research demonstrates that outcomes are improved for individuals with a serious mental illness when their whole health care, both physical and behavioral, is delivered in an integrated model, allowing care to be fully coordinated and managed.
Our Division of Behavioral Health Services initiated a strategy to address this critical health disparity for those with serious mental illness by issuing its first contract for the integration of behavioral and physical health care for persons with a serious mental illness to Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care (MMIC). MMIC began this work in Maricopa County on April 2014.
Last December, the Division of Behavioral Health Services expanded this strategic approach statewide, awarding integrated behavioral and physical health contracts for the northern Health Choice Integrated Care (HCIC), and southern Cenpatico-Integrated Care (C-IC) regions of Arizona. HCIC and C-IC are scheduled to launch this integrated product on October 1, 2015. We look forward to working with our partners to see the best physical and behavioral health care is provided to Arizonans.