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

ders are supported by a trained mental health care coordinator and a consulting psychiatrist.

Expert faculty members from the UW's Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center provide training, technical assistance, and a web-based tracking system to support systematic outcome tracking and quality improvement.

Untzer said he was struck by the program's effectiveness with this highly vulnerable group of patients.

"Most of the program participants were unemployed due to a medical or a mental health problem and more than half had problems with stable housing," he said. "Despite these challenges, we found that the majority of program participants achieved improvements in their depression."

Untzer pointed to the Mental Health Integration Program and its pay-for-performance component as a prime example of achieving the healthcare "triple aim." The triple aim seeks to enhance the patients' experience of care and improve health outcomes while containing or reducing healthcare costs.

Each year more than 20 million Americans suffer from depression. The World Health Organization ranks depression among the leading causes of disease burden worldwide. Most patients with depression seek help in primary care clinics, but in many cases their depression is not recognized or treated effectively.

Ineffectively treated depression leads to tremendous suffering in patients and their loved ones, increased mortality and higher healthcare costs. The researchers noted that today's study demonstrates that with the right incentives and support community health clinics can substantially improve care and clinical outcomes for vulnerable patients with depression.


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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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