KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

N.M. Project Aims To Electronically Connect Primary Care, Mental Health Providers

A new health care project in New Mexico -- with an eye on expanding the project nationwide -- will allow primary care doctors and mental health experts to connect electronically to provide better mental health care to the state's residents.

Politico: New Project Addresses Mental Health Care Gap
A new project seeks to bridge the U.S.'s mental health care gap by linking up primary-care doctors and mental health experts. Though it's not funded as part of Obamacare, the project fits in with several of the health care law's goals: coordinating physical and behavioral health care for better health outcomes, shoring up the primary-care workforce and lowering costs through preventive care. The initiative, which is starting in New Mexico but could eventually be scaled nationwide, is also being launched amid heightened concern about filling gaps in the mental health care system after a series of high-profile shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn. (Smith, 6/17).

Medpage Today: Project Expands Reach Of Mental Health Providers
A video teleconference system that connects specialists with community health providers to provide better care for patients in underserved areas is expanding to mental health, thanks to a grant announced Friday. The GE Foundation will provide $4.6 million to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque to expand its Project ECHO to increase access to mental health and addiction services. The Project ECHO model -- ECHO is short for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes -- allows specialists at a center like the university's to electronically connect with community providers to discuss complex cases and help those providers better treat their patients (Pittman, 6/14).

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