Collaborative Care Implementation Costs Across Health Care Systems
SUMMARY—Implementation costs and financial sustainability questions have often surrounded the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM). This report, released in April 2023, analyzes CoCM implementation cost data from 10 health systems nationwide that varied in size, U.S. region, and urban or rural setting.
Collaborative Care is an evidence-based treatment model for behavioral health integration. Typically implemented in general medical or pediatric settings, CoCM leverages the services of a specially trained behavioral health care manager to collaboratively manage a panel of patients with the medical team and a designated psychiatric consultant. Implementation costs and financial sustainability questions have often surrounded CoCM, stemming from its early adoption of telehealth, focus on between-encounter care, unconventional team structure, use of task-sharing, and integration of behavioral health treatment into physical health settings. This report analyzes CoCM implementation cost data from 10 health systems nationwide that varied in size, U.S. region, and urban or rural setting.
Key findings from the report include:
- The median cost per CoCM clinic implemented was $160,000, with this figure ranging from $49,000 to $653,000.
- Leadership personnel costs accounted for 70% of total CoCM costs, suggesting that efficient implementations for shorter periods of time may be favorable in reducing overall implementation spending.
- Direct CoCM operational costs accounted for less than 20% of implementation spending, highlighting the value inherent in CoCM that is driven by task sharing and the need for a relatively small amount of psychiatric consultant clinical time.