Advancing clinical integration

Since 2016, Washington State has been on a journey toward fully integrating physical and behavioral health care within the Apple Health (Medicaid) program. Under integrated managed care, services are coordinated through a single health plan, including physical health, mental health, and substance use disorder (SUD) treatment.

From April 2016–January 1, 2020, all regions of the state completed financial integration, and through that time, clinical integration began through the support of Accountable Communities of Health (ACHs), managed care organizations (MCOs), or through individual practices wanting to better integrate clinical care.

Clinical integration

Now, the state is focusing on clinical integration and implementing a statewide, standardized assessment that will also serve as an integration roadmap for practices and providers. This will further:

  • Support whole-person care by creating one system for physical and behavioral health care, rather than having separate systems.
  • Improve provider communication and reduce unnecessary duplication of services.
  • Expand access to behavioral health to include mental health and SUD treatment.
  • Link clients with critical community services, such as housing and employment support.

The Washington Integrated Care Assessment (WA-ICA)

The standardized assessment is called the WA-ICA, which will help providers/practices track, measure, and advance their efforts in advancing clinical integration in Washington State. It will also establish a common language and approach to integration and help stakeholders identify where funding and policy support is needed.