A February 22, 2016 article in California Healthline talks about the importance of coordinating medical and mental health care.
People with severe mental illnesses are more likely to die prematurely than those without, and it’s often from treatable chronic diseases — in part because many, …..don’t receive regular medical care. They may be uninsured or unable to find doctors who take their insurance. They may be reluctant to seek care in traditional medical offices because of stigma or discrimination.Even when they do have medical appointments, their doctors rarely communicate with their mental health providers. Experts said the lack of coordination can lead to medication problems, higher health costs and gaps in care……..Such holistic projects are underway in numerous states, including California, New York, Washington, and Florida.This story also ran on CNN.com. I……… “If we are going to bend the cost curve, the integration of behavioral health care and physical health care is essential.”Moran said the old model — simply referring patients with mental illness to a primary care doctor — doesn’t work. Instead, the patients need close, coordinated monitoring by both providers……….Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of bringing behavioral services into primary care practices. ………A review by the RAND Corporation of 56 such programs around the country showed that patients who received primary care at mental health sites had better diabetes and hypertension control. People with obesity and those who smoked did not show improvement.So far nearly 190 organizations have received one of the federal grants. ……..For many of the patients, he said, physical and mental health issues are closely linked.A significant correlation exists, for example, between chronic illnesses and serious depression. Major depressive disorder is found in 40 percent of cancer victims, 27 percent of diabetes patients, and 17 percent of people with heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.