Financing for Collaborative Care—a Narrative Review

Andrew D. Carlo*, Jürgen Unützer, Anna D.H. Ratzliff, Joseph M. Cerimele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Collaborative care (CoCM) is an evidence-based model for the treatment of common mental health conditions in the primary care setting. Its workflow encourages systematic communication among clinicians outside of face-to-face patient encounters, which has posed financial challenges in traditional fee-for-service reimbursement environments. Recent findings: Organizations have employed various financing strategies to promote CoCM sustainability, including external grants, alternate payment model contracts with specific payers, and the use of billing codes for individual components of CoCM. In recent years, Medicare approved fee-for-service, time-based billing codes for CoCM that allow for the reimbursement of patient care performed outside of face-to-face encounters. A growing number of Medicaid and commercial payers have followed suit, either recognizing the fee-for-service codes or contracting to reimburse in alternate payment models. Summary: Although significant challenges remain, novel methods for payment and cooperative efforts among insurers have helped move CoCM closer to financial sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-344
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaborative care
  • Financial sustainability
  • Health policy
  • Health service reimbursement
  • Healthcare financing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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