Behavioral Health and Resources for Integrated Care
Integrating mental health, substance use, and primary care services produces the best outcomes and is the most effective approach to caring for people with behavioral health needs. AmeriHealth Caritas Florida encourages integration of care and offers these pages to help give you the resources you need.
With the integration of care, AmeriHealth Caritas Florida’s primary care providers can identify and screen patients for mental illness and/or substance use. Make the discussion about drugs and alcohol a part of routine office visits. Most patients are willing to discuss their alcohol and drug use and its connection to health and screening has been associated with improved patient satisfaction in several studies.
Primary care is more than just health maintenance, disease prevention, and health promotion. Behavioral health is primary care, and primary care providers are the best monitors to their patients for signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.
Regular screenings for substance use disorders or mental illness can make a difference. Learn how you can screen for and potentially identify needs in your patients.
Learn more about the resources available for the integration of care with these important screening tools:
- Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT)
- Tools to Screen for Alcohol and Substance Use Disorder
- Patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9) depression screening.
The American Psychiatric Association explains that mental illness is common, in a given year:
- Nearly one in five (19%) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness.
- One in 12 (8.5%) has a diagnosable substance use disorder.
- Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives.
As defined by the National Institute of Mental Health, SUD is a treatable mental disorder that affects a person's brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. Symptoms can be moderate to severe, with addiction being the most severe form of SUD.
Opioid use disorder (OUD)
According to the American Psychiatric Association, opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic disorder, with serious potential consequences, including disability, relapses, and death. As with other substance use disorders, both genetic factors and environmental factors, such as exposure to trauma or ease of access, contribute to the risk of OUD.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD)
Also called: alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction, and alcoholism.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by an impaired ability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences; Considered a brain disorder, AUD can be mild, moderate, or severe.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social, and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.
Maternal substance use disorder
Women who are in the reproductive years are at high risk of developing a substance use disorder. Perinatal members should be screened for substance use disorders and monitored postpartum.
While closely monitored, perinatal members can be safely and effectively treated with medications for opioid use disorder that will not harm them during and after pregnancy.
Medications for opioid use disorder
Opioid use disorder can be effectively treated with medications.
Narcan is available for overdose reversal. All providers should co-prescribe Narcan (naloxone) for any patient currently using any opioid, as prescribed or otherwise.
The concept of harm reduction embraces proactive ways to engage people to prevent substance use disorders. This includes measures such as prescribing naloxone, using our pharmacy lock-in program, and altering language to reduce stigma.
AmeriHealth Caritas Florida offers several different services to assist our members with their mental health needs. We offer inpatient and outpatient services provided by medical professionals, licensed independent providers, and state agencies.
Find out the requirements for prior authorizations and access the Prior Authorization Request form.
Forms and Resources
Find important forms and training resources to help provide the best integrated care to your patients.
Become a Participating Provider
If you are interested in becoming a contracted behavioral health provider with AmeriHealth Caritas Florida, please complete the Provider Contract/Amendment Inquiry Form (PDF) to get started. You can also contact Provider Services at 1-800-617-5727.Become a Participating Provider (PDF) PDF