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Is your healthcare disjointed? It’s time to connect the dots.

Is your healthcare disjointed? It’s time to connect the dots.

Melissa BatesBy Melissa Bates, BS
Behavioral Health Integration Manager with the
Primary Care Specialties of Sweetwater Memorial

Managing your healthcare doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

Integrating behavioral health care with primary care is widely considered an effective strategy for improving outcomes for the millions of Americans with mental or behavioral health conditions, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.

If you have Medicare and live with any mental, behavioral health or psychiatric condition, Behavioral Health Integration services can help you connect the dots so you can spend more time doing what you love. Behavioral Health Integration – or BHI – services provide patients with a direct contact person, who facilitates collaboration between their primary care providers and specialized mental health providers. If you have another insurance provider, ask your carrier about coverage for the service.

Even if insurance doesn’t cover care, don’t let that stop you. I’m happy to help people find someone to work with and make arrangements for care.

Behavioral health is an important part of a person’s overall health. BHI can help. My services include:

• A dedicated healthcare advocate who knows you and your history, gives you personal attention, and will work with your providers to ensure you receive the most effective care.

• A personalized care plan created by you and your care team.

• Systematic assessment and monitoring of behavioral health conditions using validated clinical rating scales.

• Facilitation and coordination of behavioral health treatment.

• 24/7 emergency access to a healthcare professional.

• Phone check-ins between visits to help keep you on track.

It’s scary enough to ask for help when you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, or other behavioral health issues. My goal is to help patients eliminate the roadblocks to receiving quality care, and to offer coaching to help you practice the skills you’ve learned between appointments with your care providers.

I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and 15 years of experience working in behavioral health. I have worked as a Certified Addictions Practitioner Assistant before joining Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in its psychiatric clinic five years ago. I have since worked in Family Medicine of Sweetwater Memorial as a Medical Assistant, and now help people navigate the road to overall health and well-being by providing care management services.

I have worked with or am familiar with most of the mental health professionals in the area. I am confident I can help someone find the right fit for the care they need.

The benefits of integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Healthcare include:

• More efficient care

• Increased treatment adherence

• Better overall health outcomes

• Improved patient satisfaction

• Reduced stress

Find out more about Behavioral Health Integration and the connected care you need. Call 307-212-7707, visit the Primary Care page at or visit