Treating the Whole Person by Integrating Care
By Laura Tobler and Chris Edmonds | Vol . 21, No. 47 / December 2013
For many patients, including those enrolled in Medicaid, behavioral health problems—such as stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or alcohol and substance abuse—exacerbate their physical ailments. Research shows that total health care costs for treating patients with co-occurring physical and behavioral health issues are exponentially higher than treating them for physical conditions alone. Even when behavioral health disorders are diagnosed and treated, a patient’s primary and behavioral health care services are often conducted separately, and the two or more providers treating the patient may not communicate about that patient’s conditions, diagnosis and treatments.
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