Leveraging Behavioral Health Expertise: Practices and Potential of the Project ECHO Approach to Virtually Integrating Care in Underserved Areas
This column describes Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), a teleconsultation, tele-education, telementoring model for enhancing primary care treatment of underserved patients with complex medical conditions. Numerous centers have adapted ECHO to support primary care treatment of behavioral health disorders. Preliminary evidence for behavioral health ECHO programs suggests positive impacts on providers, treatment planning, and emergency department costs. ECHO has the potential to improve access to effective and cost-effective behavioral health care by virtually integrating behavioral health knowledge and support in sites where specialty providers are not available. Patient-level outcomes research is critical.
Hager B, Hasselberg M, Arzubi E, Betlinski J, Duncan M, Richman J, Raney LE. Leveraging Behavioral Health Expertise: Practices and Potential of the Project ECHO Approach to Virtually Integrating Care in Underserved Areas. Psychiatr Serv. 2018 Apr 1;69(4):366-369. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201700211. Epub 2018 Feb 15. PMID: 29446334.