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Vinfen is leading the way in community-based integration of primary care and behavioral health care for people living with serious mental illness.

People living with serious mental illness experience significant health disparities. On average, they die 25-30 years earlier than the general population. There are many factors that contribute to this including high risk factors, inadequate health care, poor health behaviors, and medication side-effects. However, the good news is that steps can be taken to influence these factors and Vinfen is here to help.

In 2012, Vinfen was awarded a three-year Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Health Care Innovation Award to develop “Community Based Health Homes for Adults with Serious Mental Illness.”

These innovative health homes offer the services of a Nurse Practitioner to provide access to effective and timely care, the Health Buddy Telehealth System from Bosch Healthcare, and an Integrated Illness Management and Recovery (IIMR) training tool developed by Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. The goal of these health homes is to teach people with serious mental illness to manage their medical and psychiatric conditions. The health home is embedded within Vinfen’s Community Based Flexible Supports program.

Midway through the project Vinfen is already seeing positive results. Participants are accessing care, engaging with the telehealth system and working towards health self management goals. Furthermore, Vinfen has observed a reduction in inpatient admission and a reduction in the average number of Emergency Room visits per participant per year. Vinfen will use the findings from this project to continue developing more effective service models as we learn more about our participants’ abilities to engage with primary care, absorb training and new information, and make lifestyle changes.

In addition to collaborating with Bosch Healthcare and Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice on the project, Vinfen partners with three other community behavioral health organizations; BayCove Human Services, North Suffolk Mental Health Association, the Brookline Community Mental Health Center; and with Commonwealth Care Alliance, a nonprofit care delivery organization.


The project described is supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1C1-12-0001 from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and have not been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.