Whole Person Integrated Care

What Providers Need to Know

Integrating various types of health care—specifically physical and behavioral health care, has been a major topic for many years.  So, how is Whole Person Integrated Care, or WPIC, different from the current integrated care model Partners Behavioral Health Management has worked to develop?

Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC) is a new model that expands the concept of integrated care beyond the health sectors. The pivot toward achievement of the Triple Aim, and now the Quadruple Aim, requires those who manage and provide care to re-envision the components and processes of health delivery. Integration of research in neuroscience, social epidemiology, public health and the behavioral sciences create new opportunities to advance Whole Person and Value Based Care.  WPIC leverages these advances to create a new model of comprehensive care by using research-based elements that positively affect behavioral and overall health, reduce health disparities, and optimize community resources.

By adding these elements, Partners hopes to help its members become healthy and stay healthy by addressing their health needs as a whole, instead of physical and behavioral. We will utilize what we have learned through the integrated care center concept and introduce public health knowledge to understand the barriers that impact a member’s desired wellness outcomes.

WPIC uses a systematic approach to involve these three elements, or tiers, into care:

Integrated health care practices are built upon the current model to include elements such as peer engagement and support for the member’s overall health and social needs. Each member in the practice would see appropriate behavioral and medical health professionals, but would also be introduced to a person, or peer, to discuss their behavioral, medical and non-medical needs.  This peer would obtain an understanding of the member to identify what other factors may be affecting the member’s health, and possibly find ways to positively address these factors.

There are many groups and agencies working to improve the health of citizens. One of the best ways to impact a community’s health is through information and resource sharing.  One component of WPIC is the development of a community health forum in each community so that medical practices, behavioral health agencies, and community partners can create a collective health care vision and share resources, solutions, and opportunities. The forum will promote robust partnerships among the Tier 1 partners and community, will advance the WPIC model, and provide results-based collaboration as identified through the data compiled from evaluation methods.

Tier 3 strategically connects the initiative to the broader community. At this point, Partners, along with members, behavioral health and medical providers, stakeholders, and the Wellness Councils will collaborate and develop a Community Health Network and time bank that impacts the social determinants of health that prevent people from becoming and staying healthy.  The resources will be unique to each network’s population.

What is the role of providers within the Partners’ Network in regard to Whole Person Integrated Care?

The WPIC model will initiate in Burke, Gaston, and Iredell counties via the current integrated care/wellness centers managed by Partners. However, if your agency is interested in using this model within your practice, please view the WPIC Brief PDF and contact Partners Integrated Care Director Martha Kaufman or Integrated Care Project Manager Jennifer Greene.