By Tara Rogers, Senior Program Director
People think of Integrity House, and they think of substance use treatment and recovery, which is what the organization was founded on 55 years ago. But with the increasing prevalence of both mental health and physical health disorders on the rise, it was essential that Integrity House evolve to provide a full continuum of care through our integrated care program.
What is integrated care?
Integrated care is all about treating not just one aspect of an individual but treating the whole person and being able to do that under one roof. With our federally-funded Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), we have been able to integrate substance use treatment, disease specialists, mental health specialists, primary care specialists, and case management all in one primary location. This approach is not only more convenient for clients but also offers greater connectivity between the specialists servicing the client, yielding better and more consistent outcomes.
The CCBHC model enables a client to walk through our doors at 1091 Broad Street in Newark, where they are almost immediately seen by a medical professional who performs an assessment. From there, for example, we’re able to see that they have high blood pressure which could be attributed to misusing alcohol. They can then be seen by a clinician who can screen for alcohol use disorder, determine where they fall within the spectrum, and have a conversation with the client where we’re able to say, “You may be drinking a lot because you’re depressed, or as a result of trauma that you may have incurred,” and, in this example, we are able to link them up with psychiatrists who can then prescribe appropriate medications, as medically indicated.
How are people referred into that system?
Clients can be referred to our CCBHC in a number of ways, but the easiest way is to take advantage of our open access hours at 1091 Broad Street in Newark, where individuals are welcome to walk right in Monday through Friday, between 8 am and 11 am.
They’ll be seen by a care manager overseeing the screening and have access to a nursing assessment or a counseling visit should they need it, and from there, they’ll be assessed, and we will determine the urgency of their condition as well as what treatment is recommended. The most severe cases would have that first scenario where they’re provided with a specialist visit on the same day, whereas some people may solely want to get enrolled in psychotherapy services.
We have also expanded our telehealth and virtual capabilities. If an individual can’t make it to 1091 Broad Street, all they have to do is click on a Zoom link during our open access telehealth hours, and they’ll be placed in a virtual waiting room with somebody who will do a quick screening and be enrolled by a care manager.
We accept various forms of coverage, including Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance. But the CCBHC is grant-funded, so if you’re uninsured, you won’t be turned away or refused service. We will treat you regardless of whether you have insurance or not.
This is especially beneficial to those who may need more longer-term care. We often see clients who have chronic conditions which have developed over 10, 20, or 30 years doing damage to their bodies that requires more than just 12 weeks of monitoring. Treatment and recovery services have evolved over the years. We now know that the most effective path is through integrated care that treats the whole person — not just their addiction but also their mental health and physical ailments. At Integrity House, we’re proud to offer a wide range of services that help clients find their chosen path forward to overall wellness. And we do that all under one roof and for anyone in need of treatment.