In-depth evaluation helps advance the integration of behavioral health at Maine health clinics and beyond.
The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) believed in the value of integrating behavioral health and primary care services to create a more holistic, patient-centered approach to health care. To this end, MeHAF established a major, 12-year, $14 million grant program to help transform the health system in Maine. MeHAF needed an objective analysis to ascertain that its money had the intended impact, and hired JSI.
JSI’s goal was to answer MeHAF’s fundamental question for this complex project: “is our investment paying off?” Are services reaching people
JSI MAKES A DIFFERENCEUsing our past experience researching integrated behavioral care and performing multi-setting evaluations, JSI designed and implemented an evaluation that would meet MeHAF’s goals. A solid evaluation design can help make sense of complex situations by being a roadmap to systematically organize information. The evaluation design encompassed quantitative enrollment data and qualitative assessments of integration collected by all organizations; patient outcome measures tailored to each organization, and a series of structured interviews and site visits to capture the nature of every program and its barriers and success to integration. We monitored the quality and content of the data collected, interpreted the information, and fed it back to MeHAF and participating organizations, so they could assess the quality of their programs. JSI also provided technical assistance to the local organizations to strengthen their own monitoring and evaluation capability.
RESULTSUltimately, JSI’s major contribution was to inform MeHAF that their investment did, in fact, lead to a substantial portion of the population receiving services, that those served were more diverse than the state as a whole. It also identified key features of successful and/or innovative programs. This information helped MeHAF refine its investment strategy and advocate for further integrative services, such as in Patient-Centered Medical Homes.
MeHAF is a leader in health care reform, and was eager to see a wide reach and lasting change. JSI added value by helping MeHAF disseminate the evaluation findings to benefit other entities that are enmeshed in the fast-moving environment of integrated health. JSI and MeHAF shared the findings through:
Three case studies described strategies used by diverse organizations to engage patients at each level of health care decisionmaking:
The JSI team’s collaborative approach and tailored, hands-on technical assistance was key to success. JSI also brought significant experience, having provided evaluation assistance on a similarly large complex behavioral integration project involving a different population type.
Learn more from the Overview slide show and final report for effective presentation of the client’s accomplishments.
Two articles summarizing findings and providing context:
Two national conference presentations:
Read more about JSI's work with the Maine Health Access Foundation.