Warm handoffs and attendance at initial integrated behavioral health appointments

Christine A. Pace, Katherine Gergen-Barnett, Alysa Veidis, Joanna D’Afflitti, Jason Worcester, Pedro Fernandez, Karen E. Lasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Though integrated behavioral health programs often encourage primary care physicians to refer patients by means of a personal introduction (warm handoff), data are limited regarding the benefits of warm handoffs. We conducted a retrospective study of adult primary care patients referred to behavioral health clinicians in an urban, safety-net hospital to investigate the association between warm handoffs and attendance rates at subsequent initial behavioral health appointments. In multivariable analyses, patients referred via warm handoffs were not more likely to attend initial appointments (OR= 0.96; 95% CI, 0.79-1.18; P =.71). A prospective study is necessary to confirm the role of warm handoffs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-348
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of family medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Behavioral health attendance
  • Integrated behavioral health
  • Warm handoffs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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