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Payment innovation cuts depression time in half
Date:4/20/2012

When 25 percent of the payments to community health clinics were based on quality of care, patients received better care and had better depression outcomes. The results of this initiative will be published in the April 19 issue of the American Journal of Public Health in the paper, "Quality Improvement with Pay-for-Performance Incentives in Integrated Behavioral Health Care."

University of Washington researchers examined records from almost 8,000 patients treated for depression in 29 community health clinics in the Washington State Mental Health Integration Program before and after the implementation of a pay-for-performance incentive. After the incentive was started, patients were seen more quickly and were more likely to receive consultation from a psychiatrist. They were also more likely to show improvements in their depression.

"The time for depression to improve in the majority of patients was cut by more than half, from over 60 weeks to less than 25 weeks," said Dr. Jrgen Untzer, professor and vice chair of the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the lead author of the study.

The Washington State Mental Health Integration Program provides medical and mental health services for low-income adults who are temporarily disabled due to a physical or mental health condition and expected to be unemployed for at least 90 days. This program is funded by the State of Washington and administered by the Community Health Plan of Washington, a non-profit managed care plan.

In King County the program also covers military veterans and their family members, the uninsured, low-income mothers and their children, and low-income older adults. Services in King County are also funded by a voter-approved levy that is administered by Public Health Seattle & King County.

Treatment for depression and other common mental disorders is provided through an innovative team approach in which primary care provi
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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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