Kitsap County, Washington, is designated as a Health
Professional Shortage Area for mental health, lacking a
sufficient number of psychiatrists for the population as
Mental Health Services (KMHS), a nonprofit community
mental health center, almost entirely serves Medicaid
patients. About 70% of KMHS clients live in communities
with populations of 13,000 and 37,000 people, while the
other 30% live in two smaller communities. Mental health
services are primarily located in the two larger
communities, but KMHS also conducts home and
community-based services for children and adults. In
addition, staff members of KMHS and community partners
work at jails, courts, primary care clinics, schools, and
community action programs.
KMHS designed a program called "Race to Health!" to
improve clients' physical health as well as their mental
health and any co-occurring substance use disorders,
while also reducing healthcare costs. As part of
multidisciplinary teams, staff members received training
on physical health conditions, substance use, chronic
diseases such as diabetes, enhanced care coordination
with primary care, and patient self-management programs.
KMHS partnered with Harrison HealthPartners (HHP), a
group of primary care providers that serves Kitsap County
along with the rural counties of Clallam, Jefferson, and
Mason. KMHS received funding from a 2012-2015
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Health
Care Innovation Award (HCIA).
Race to Health! has ended, but some chronic disease
client education components remain, along with the
culture shift toward a more integrated approach to care.
By 2021, KMHS plans to reactivate its population-based,
integrated care model, supported by a shift during 2020
to a new electronic health record system that will better
aid in this effort.