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Collaborative Care Model

The collaborative care model is an integrative approach to behavioral health treatment. It is client-centered and evidence-based. The American Psychiatric Association and other mental health organizations say this approach to addiction and mental health care can lead to:
Collaborative Care Model

  • Better client outcomes
  • Improved client functioning
  • Better provider and patient satisfaction
  • Less stigma surrounding mental health conditions
  • Reduced health care costs
The positive impact of integrated medical/behavioral care has become apparent in the last decade or so. Through collaborative care’s roots go back to the 1970s, it took time before the approach was widely known and accepted in health care. Medical professionals have called for the integration of behavioral and physical health care. They say co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness don’t fit into the traditional treatment model. Dual diagnosis treatment should include both primary care physicians and behavioral health providers.

What Is Collaborative Care?

Traditional substance abuse treatment includes your primary care provider, psychiatrist, and mental health team — which operate separately. For instance, you may see all your health care providers, but there is no or little communication between them. Your medical provider treats your physical ailments. Your psychiatrist and therapist treat substance abuse and mental health disorders. None of the providers communicate with one another or are fully aware of the treatment you’re receiving outside of their care.

As science continues to highlight the connection between physical and mental well-being, many health care providers see the need for holistic care. A key component of this approach for integrating physical and mental health treatment is connecting all of the different professionals and aspects of client care planning. This is how the collaborative care model came into being.

In a collaborative approach, a care manager ensures that all treatment providers are in communication and receive diagnosis and treatment updates. This approach provides patients with both integrated care and accountable care.

Ideally, collaborative care models are set up so that patients can receive all treatment in a primary care setting. Some people feel more comfortable receiving both physical and mental healthcare at a familiar location. This may increase patient engagement and improve clinical outcomes. In collaborative care, instead of seeking out addiction treatment on your own, you go to a familiar location: your doctor’s office. Your primary care physician assesses your physical health and refers you to appropriate treatment. Your collaborative care team are all be on the same page. They coordinate your treatment, measure your outcomes, and adjust your care as needed.

What Providers Are on a Collaborative Care Team?

The members of a collaborative care team will depend on the diagnosis or medical condition. If you have a substance use disorder, your team may include:

  • Primary care provider
  • Psychiatrist or psychiatric consultant
  • Mental health specialist
  • Nurses
  • Health educator
  • Social worker
  • Behavioral health care manager
  • Nutritionist or dietician
  • Recovery coach

Your care manager coordinates behavioral and physical treatment with your primary care provider. Sometimes this individual is a case manager or social worker. Treatment providers monitor your outcomes and care. They measure your patient progress with standardized outcome ratings and electronic tracking tools. Your care manager provides case reviews to all involved providers.

Collaborative Care at Vogue

At Vogue Recovery Center, we collaborate with all of your providers to personalize your treatment plan to your specific needs. Our collaborative care model is an integrated care system for successful patient outcomes.

An example of our collaborative care model is the “screening, brief interventions, and referral to treatment” approach:

  • Primary care providers screen patients with low-risk patterns of alcohol use.
  • Patients with higher-risk alcohol use or illicit drug use receive brief interventions.
  • Primary care providers refer patients that meet the criteria for addiction to specialized treatment.

Interventions and treatment vary by site. However, they always include evidence-based approaches like motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. We collaborate with your referring clinician and other health care providers throughout your time with us. Your treatment team may include:

  • Medical professionals
  • Behavioral health specialists
  • Case manager
  • Any outside services providers, such as a physical therapist or chiropractor

We Can Help You

If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out. We’ve helped thousands of clients take back their lives from addiction. We can help you too.


Kelsey Jones vrc az

Medically Reviewed by Kelsey Jones, MS, LPC

Trusted & Accredited Addiction Treatment Centers

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