Using the Collaborative Care Model to Integrate Behavioral Health Care in Pediatrics

Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD
Associate Professor,  Depression Therapy Research Endowed Professorship
Director, AIMS Center
Director, UW Integrated Care Training Program

The collaborative care model (CoCM) of integrated behavioral health care delivers mental health services in primary care settings.  This work is performed by a team including a primary care provider and a behavioral health provider supported by psychiatric consultant. This model has been shown to be effective for pediatric populations for treatment of ADHD and adolescent depression, although developing funding strategies to cover the cost of care delivered this way has been challenging. Fortunately, there is a new opportunity in Washington State to fund CoCM delivery for Apple Health (Medicaid) patients.

The CoCM codes require that an organization deliver mental health care as a team, that a registry is used to track all patients treated, that behavioral health measures are regularly used to intensify treatment and that the psychiatric consultant engages in regular caseload review of patients.  Organizations that wish to be eligible to receive payments for CoCM codes need to complete an attestation form.  This new source of funding represents an exciting opportunity for increased access to effective mental health care for pediatric patients!

For more information about CoCM codes please visit the Health Care Authority’s website:

For more information about CoCM evidence base and implementation, please visit the AIMS Center:

Editor’s Note:
To learn more about applying this model in pediatrics, join WCAAP on Friday, September 21, 2018 in Yakima for Inspiration for Integration: Bringing Behavioral Health to Pediatrics, to learn more about CoCM and integrating financially sustainable behavioral health care in your pediatric practice. Highlights include:

  • Anna Ratzliff, MD, PhD, AIMS Center Director and trainer with American Psychiatric Association, will present the collaborative care model, including clinical and financial considerations.
  • Leslie Graham, MSW, LICSW and Sheryl Morelli, MD, FAAP will share the experience of the UW Neighborhood Kent/Des Moines Clinic with integrating care for kids, using collaborative care and chronic disease management models.
  • Daniel Smith, MSW, Interim Executive Director and VP of Clinical Integration at the Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health (SWACH) will discuss the role SWACH has in developing priorities, alongside providers and payors, to enhance and expand the integration of primary and behavioral healthcare for children, youth and families