Mentor Research Institute

Informing the Public & Psychotherapy Practice

503 227-2027

ConnectingCare Alternative Payment Model for Behavioral Health

Lead Investigators:   Michael G. Conner, PsyD,  Michaele Dunlap, PsyD & Tracy Heart, MA

The Connecting Care model (Independent Practice Integrated Care - IPIC) is being developed by AMHA-USA, AMHA-OR and MRI.  The ConnectingCare model was created in response to government-mandated changes to health delivery, changes which impact the public, commercial payers and providers.  It is being developed so that independent mental health professionals can participate more effectively in the evolving systems of mental health delivery.

Quality is defined by the “Triple Aim” of the Affordable Care Act as measures of (1) access, (2) improved group health and well-being and (3) management or containment of cost.

The model called “Connecting Care” was created by Mentor Research Institute.

IPA Practice Model Presented to New York State Psychological Association


Michael G Conner, PsyD

Saturday,   8:30 am - 12:30 pm: Special Presentation

Formation of An Independent Practice Association  
Presenters: Michael Conner, PsyD, and Dave Johnson, MSW, ACSW

Michael Conner will demonstrate step by step how to build an Independent Practice Association in New York. The sole purpose of an Independent Practice Association is to create leverage with respect to negotiating reimbursement and fee-for-service rates with third party payers, while protecting our ability to operate our practices.   Dr. Conner will provide examples of the architecture and is bringing business and financial software necessary to operate an IPA virtually.   This includes an online referral directory, measurement, charting, coordinated care and the analytics technology necessary for a modern IPA and website which he built for New York Psychologists.

Michael Conner, PsyD

Michael Conner is an engineer who became a psychologist in 1995.  Dr. Conner worked at Kaiser Permanente Oregon where he completed his post-doctoral Fellowship within Kaiser's graduate medical education program. While at Kaiser he spent 7 years in variety of settings including primary medical care, regional hospitals, emergency departments, health education, and three different integrated mental health clinics. Dr. Conner created the world’s first comprehensive online primary-care mental health screening, education and referral system while at Kaiser. Dr. Conner is the architect and designer of a high performance practice management system which includes charting, care coordination, outcome measurement and analytics; data capable of providing a practice-research level of mental health documentation for individual and group practices.

Dr. Conner is a Board member of Mentor Research Institute which created the ConnectingCare model a “step-and-repeat” business and service delivery contracting model which can be implemented by mental health professionals who organize as Independent Practice Associations (IPAs). He has offered training on the topic of IPA’s at Oregon Psychological Association’s 2014 annual conference and to mental health professionals in four Oregon cities.

Dave Johnson, MSW, ACSW

Dave Johnson has over 35 years’ experience as a senior administrator, clinician, and health services evaluator with more than 20 years'  of focus on design, development, implementation and evaluation of bi-directional integrated care and service models. He served on the front lines of care as a child welfare worker and administrator for Adolescent Group Homes.  His program and clinical development activities have included engagements with Primary Care Clinics, FQHCs, Community Mental Health Agencies and specialty services—HIV/AIDS, OB/GYN, ID/DD.  Dave directed Anthem’s Medicaid Health Home initiatives in multiple states as well as designed, implemented, and evaluated an integrated care program in primary care/FQHC settings in eight states recognized as a best practice by the Institute for Medicaid Innovation 2016-2017.  Dave’s successful grant writing experiences include having achieved awards of more than $7 million from Federal Agencies, State Agencies and Private Foundations.