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KPMA Explores Ways to Improve Access to Mental Health Care Services in Kentucky

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LEXINGTON It’s challenging. The need for mental health and substance abuse treatment in Kentucky continues to rise, and there’s already a shortage of psychiatrists in the state.

The Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association (KPMA) recently explored a creative way to deliver high quality psychiatric care to a larger population. On March 23, 2019 psychiatrists from the across the state convened at the University of Kentucky in Lexington to explore the Collaborative Care Model (CoCM), an evidence-based model using a team approach led by a primary care physician along with a consulting psychiatrist and a behavioral health care manager.

Can consulting with a primary care physician, versus meeting face-to-face with patients, actually work? Apparently, it’s an option worth considering. Besides being able to treat more people, the CoCM has been shown to:

Improve patient outcomes
Increase patient satisfaction
Increase provider satisfaction
Save money

Initiating treatment as part of a team is different from doing it alone — and it’s not for everyone. Experienced physician presenters from Colorado, North Carolina, and Kentucky outlined the key differences in workflow, accountability, payment, and common presentations in a primary care setting versus a traditional psychiatry practice.

The key ingredient to success? Establishing a working relationship based on mutual trust. Those who have experienced success first-hand with CoCM include presenters Lori Raney, MD, Nathan Copeland, MD, and Mary Helen Davis, MD.

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