Saturday, October 6, 2012

Integrated Care Extends Reach of Psychiatrists, Says Expert

If psychiatrists want to be more effective and help a much larger population of people, they need to work in a model of integrated care where they can collaborate closely with primary care physicians, said psychiatrist Jurgen Unutzer, M.D., M.P.H., at APA’s Institute on Psychiatric Services in New York.

An internationally known health services researcher and director of the AIMS Center (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) at the University of Washington, Unutzer (pictured above) described innovative models of care that integrate mental health and general medical services. He presented evidence that psychiatrists working in a consultative way with primary care can significantly improve mental health care for large populations of people in primary care, while also lowering overall health care costs.

“In a collaborative care model, we as psychiatrists can help our colleagues in primary care make a big difference and improve the lives of the patients they are seeing,” Unutzer said.

To view a video of Unutzer discussing collaborative care, click here. Also, APA Medical Director James H. Scully Jr., M.D., spoke about the role of integrated care in health care reform. To view the video, click here.

(Image: Mark Moran)


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