Psychiatrists for medically complex patients: bringing value at the physical health and mental health/substance-use disorder interface

Roger G. Kathol, Elisabeth J.S. Kunkel, Joseph S. Weiner, Robert M. McCarron, Linda L.M. Worley, William R. Yates, Paul Summergrad, Frits J. Huyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In their current configuration, traditional reactive consultation-liaison services see a small percentage of the general-hospital patients who could benefit from their care. These services are poorly reimbursed and bring limited value in terms of clinical improvement and reduction in health-service use. Method: The authors examine models of cross-disciplinary, integrated health services that have been shown to promote health and lower cost in medically-complex patients, those with complicated admixtures of physical, mental, social, and health-system difficulties. Conclusion: Psychiatrists who specialize in the treatment of medically-complex patients must now consider a transition from traditional consultation to proactive, value-added programs and bill for services from medical, rather than behavioral, insurance dollars, since the majority ofhealth-enhancement and cost-savings from these programs occur in the medical sector. The authors provide the clinical and financial arguments for such program-creation and the steps that can be taken as psychiatrists for medically-complex patients move to the next generation of inter- disciplinary service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-107
Number of pages15
JournalPsychosomatics
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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