Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your primary may be your shrink--kinda

According to Melinda Beck, WSJ, Seept 25, 2013, the medical system may combine the requirement that mental health services be provided as much as physical health ones with the shortage of trained mental health professionals--and create systems where psychiatrists and psychologists sort of oversee a doctor's patients with mental issues--but the doctor does the direct counseling.

Whew--what a sentence!

One Seattle psychiatrist has 500 patients--and is a consulting psychiatrist. She meets weekly with 10 "care managers" who follow the patients closely and record their records electronically.

The doctor devises the treatment plans.

They are keying this to the idea that mental and physical problems are often linked. About a quarter of primary care patients have a mental issue. Combining is called "integrative care."

Will this be most appropriate for areas with very few mental health professionals--or gradually required for all areas because it's cheaper for these new insurance companies coming into being?

Time will tell. Keep your ears open and try to act normal.

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