Collaborative Care Program grows to 244 designated practices statewide, expanding access to integrated primary and behavioral health care services.

Debbie Reinheimer

| 2 min read

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has designated 239 primary care and 5 obstetrics/gynecology practices as Collaborative Care practices, an increase from the 213 designated practices in 2022. The Collaborative Care model makes it easier for people to get their behavioral health needs addressed, by coordinating behavioral health care within the primary care or ob/gyn practice where a patient is already receiving care.
In a Collaborative Care practice, a behavioral health care manager and a consulting psychiatrist are added to the patient’s care team. The behavioral health care manager works with the patient, the physician and the consulting psychiatrist to coordinate treatment. This allows patients to connect to appropriate behavioral medicine quickly and privately.
“Collaborative Care‑designated practices aim to identify and treat depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other behavioral health issues before they become bigger problems,” said Amy McKenzie, M.D., vice president of clinical partnerships and associate chief medical officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Because the health care team already knows the patient, patients may feel more comfortable receiving behavioral health care right in their doctor’s office.”
Getting patients access to appropriate behavioral health treatment from within their primary care or ob/gyn practice helps ease the backlog and long waiting lists currently experienced with most mental health professionals. This also can help to avoid emergency room visits and costs associated with untreated mental health conditions.
Since last year when practices first earned Collaborative Care designation, health practitioners have completed additional training for specific patient populations, including perinatal patients; adolescent patients; and patients with substance use disorders.
To date, more than 800 practitioners have been trained in Collaborative Care. Collaborative Care designated practices are located in 39 counties across Michigan, with the largest concentration in Southeast Michigan and the west side of the state.
To find a Blue Cross-designated Collaborative Care practice, go to “Find a Doctor” on and select Collaborative Care in the Quality category.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association