About the Washington Integrated Care Assessment

What is the Washington Integrated Care Assessment (WA-ICA)?

The WA-ICA is a continuum-based integration assessment tool meant to:

  • Develop an improvement roadmap for clinical practices to advance integration and whole-person care.
  • Reduce provider administrative burden by minimizing duplication of assessments.
  • Understand the level of and progress toward clinical integration within behavioral health and primary care outpatient practices.
  • Improve patient outcomes.
  • Provide regional and statewide data to support and influence policy and funding decisions.

The WA-ICA is based on two continuum-based assessment tools developed in New York State by Dr. Henry Chung and colleagues. Their work is summarized in these reports: Continuum-based Framework for Behavioral Health Integration into Primary Care and Continuum-based Framework for General Health Integration into Behavioral Health.
 

Washington’s health care community wants to understand where our state is with advancing clinical integration of physician and behavioral health.

  • What does it mean to be integrated?
  • What providers are integrated and at what levels?
  • Where are we now – statewide benchmark?
  • What is needed to support providers in advancing integration?
  • How to we track integration improvements over time (in practices, regional and statewide)?
  • How do we link level of integration to patient outcomes?

The Washington Integrated Care Assessment (WA-ICA) will help our community begin to address these questions and support our providers' journey in advancing integration.
 

The WA-ICA includes two companion tools tailored to primary care and behavioral health (mental health and substance use disorder) settings. The tools will help providers track, measure, and advance their clinical integration progress across a set of domains. These domains include:

  • Screening, referral to care, and follow up
  • Ongoing care management
  • Information exchange among providers
  • A multi-disciplinary team (including patients) with dedicated time
  • Self-management support adapted to patient
  • Systematic quality improvement
  • Linkages to community and social services
  • Sustainability

Beginning in July 2022, approximately 400 primary care and behavioral health sites that have experience with integration assessments through their regional ACH are invited to complete the assessment. Other sites will be phased in over time. Find out what cohort your site will be in below.

Completing the WA-ICA is not a requirement, but it is highly encouraged.

Who has been involved in this effort?

The Integration Assessment Workgroup, a collaboration of ACHs, MCOs, and HCA, have been working together since July 2020 to identify the WA-ICA and create an implementation plan. HealthierHere, the ACH for King County has been contracted to provide backbone support for the statewide implementation.

The following organizations support the Washington Integrated Care Assessment (WA-ICA):

Washington State Health Care Authority

Amerigroup Washington

Community Health Plan of Washington

Coordinated Care

Molina Healthcare

United Healthcare

Better Health Together

Cascade Pacific Action Alliance

Elevate Health

Greater Columbia ACH

HealthierHere

North Central ACH

North Sound ACH

Olympic Community of Health

Southwest ACH

 

Which version is best for my site?

The WA-ICA is designed for outpatient primary care and behavioral health sites (including SUD providers). If your site primarily provides primary care (physical health or medical) services, you will be invited to complete the primary care version of the assessment. If your site primarily provides behavioral health (mental health and/or SUD) services, you will be invited to complete the behavioral health version of the assessment. If you have any questions or concerns about the version of the assessment you receive, please reach out to the WA-ICA team at tdonahue@healthierhere.org. 

How long will the assessment take?

It should take your care team approximately 3-4 hours in total to complete (including assessment team discussion). It is meant to be completed as an interdisciplinary team. For more detail about how to approach the assessment please look at our FAQ and other supporting materials on the appropriate 'guidance' page for your site. 

Which cohort am I in?

The WA-ICA will be rolled out in approximately 5 cohorts, between July 2022 and July 2024.

Cohort 1 (July - August 2022): Sites with prior experience with integration assessments via their ACH and/or MCO. Cohort 1 sites will receive a notification from their ACH or MCO by the end of April.

Cohort 2 (Q1 2023): TBD

Cohort 3 (Q3 2023): TBD

Cohort 4 (Q1 2024): TBD

Cohort 5 (Q3 2024): TBD

History and background

The Health Care Authority has an excellent resource page with background information and a detailed FAQ about the history of the WA-ICA transition effort, including how the WA-ICA was developed and why it was selected.