Tuesday, June 10, 2014

AMA Delegates Seek Models for Implementing Integrated Care

The AMA will work with APA and other organizations to provide recommendations on implementing models for integrating physical and behavioral health care. At the meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, a resolution was approved that directs the AMA, along with interested specialty and state societies, to study and report back at next year’s meeting on the current state of knowledge regarding integration of physical and behavioral health care, including pediatric and adolescent health care, and to provide recommendations for implementing models of physical and behavioral health care integration. The resolution was brought to the House by the delegation from Colorado, with support from the Section Council on Psychiatry.

“It is well documented that persons with medical conditions who have co-occurring mental health disorders and those persons with primary mental health disorders who also have chronic medical conditions are often medically complex and typically incur significantly higher than average total health care costs,” said psychiatrist Jerry Halverson, M.D., speaking in support of the resolution. “In primary care settings, more than 80% of patients who have co-occurring mental health disorders are either undertreated or receive no treatment for their mental illness at all. There are now over 80 randomized, controlled trials that provide a robust evidence base for the collaborative care model. Evidence shows that it is vital to have a psychiatrist as part of the collaborative team.”

“This support by the AMA House of Delegates represents an important next step to improve the quality and access for psychiatric and general medical care provided to patients and families throughout the United States,” commented APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D. “We look forward to working closely with our colleagues at the AMA on this project, which is an APA priority.”

For more information see the Psychiatric News articles "Board Report on Reform Focuses on Integrated Care" and "A Primer on Integrated Care: FAQ Answered by Experts."


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