5 tips to improve care, quality reporting with depression tools

In the April 4, 2016 edition of Part B News, Rebecca Gwilt talks about integration of behavioral health care into acute and primary care settings. An excerpt is included, below:

"To improve care and reduce quality downfalls such as hospital readmission, sharpen your assessment and care of an oft-neglected chronic condition: depression.

A study appearing in the March 2016 issue of Health Affairs finds “low use of depression care management processes among primary care practices across the United States.” The survey of 1,070 primary care and multispecialty practices shows that, while practices are starting to adopt care management processes (such as nurse care managers and patient educators) for other chronic conditions, including asthma, congestive heart failure and diabetes, “over time, we found no significant increase in the use of depression care management processes in any of the practice sizes.”

This is despite the fact, reported in a 2013 Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine paper, that “primary care providers prescribe 79% of antidepressant medications and see 60% of people being treated for depression in the United States.”

“Not only is it important to recognize and treat depression, but many other chronic diseases can have worse outcomes when depression is present,” says Linda Girgis, M.D., a family practice doctor practicing in South River, N.J. Rebecca Gwilt, a partner with the Nixon Law Group in Vienna, Va., recounts a story an executive told her about a single patient who “had visited his health care system’s emergency department 73 times in one year, costing the hospital in excess of $800,000.” The woman was “chronically physically and mentally ill and addicted to opioids,” says Gwilt.

That’s bad news for your value modifier, hospital readmission scores and other quality reporting measures. It’s also a missed opportunity for chronic care management and other care interventions..."

Read more @ Part B News online

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