Hire a Manager for your Depression!

Is your holiday season this year going to be merry? According to an article published by The Wall Street Journal the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, “close to 8% of people 50 and older are report current depression”. The holiday season, which emphasizes cheerfulness, can intensify their blues. However, the good news is that many primary-care providers are standardizing screening and treating of depression. In October Medicaid announced that it will be providing coverage for annual depression screening as long as there is effective treatment and follow-up care. Ne such program is known as Impact (Improving Mood-Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment). Patients are screened with a questionnaire known as the PHQ-9, which asks questions regarding the symptoms of depression.  What is unique to this system is that in addition to medication prescribed when needed, the Impact program requires a depression-care manager.  The manager, either a nurse or social worker, offers the patient educational materials and encourages physical activity. Screenings are repeated with every patient visit, thereby monitoring the progress of the patient. As the director of the program and an assistant professor at Baylor University in Houston, Nancy Wilson, says, “there is much more recognition and awareness that depression is a normal part of the life experience and is a treatable condition”.

26. December 2011 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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