A New Challenge for Physicians

Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care:

Primary care settings are beginning to appreciate the importance of behavioral health and are becoming the new gateway for treating patients with mental health conditions. Current evidence-based research studies show that recognition of aberrant behaviors in early childhood can avert future disorders, thus, providing patients with a healthier adult life.  Bright Futures from American Academy of Pediatrics for preventive pediatric health care periodicity schedule, recommends physical examinations and behavioral assessments, as well as the usual developmental, substance use, and depression screenings.  With the new recommendations of screening for depression and other mental health disorders, primary care practices now need to deal with situations they have not dealt with in the past, nor are they set up to deal with them. Not screening for these mental health conditions is not an option as they are the current standard of care, but dealing with an abnormal screen is a new issue you may not be set up to evaluate further or treat. Ignoring an abnormal screen is not an option. 

Hospitals and large medical facilities may have the appropriate in-house services, but private practices cannot afford the time, space, or finances to manage behavioral health patients. Integrated Medical Care is here to fill this new gap in care that was not available to patients in the past.  We have a comprehensive behavioral health team that can evaluate, treat, and communicate with private practices, to ensure patients receive appropriate care.

Medication Management: Polypharmacy across Specialties

Patients with behavioral health conditions may be treated with a wide variety of medications, prescribed by a frequent distribution of specialists treating them. These uncoordinated medications can be complex and outside the scope of a primary care physician. EMR’s and pharmacists only review patient medications in terms of allergies and significant drug interactions; patients are generally not counseled regarding the various side effects and possible synergy amongst the various pharmaceuticals they are taking. This requires an independent drug review by a pharmacist, similar to what patients receive when either being admitted or discharged from a hospital. Our experienced pharmacist supplies this service to our patients and associated primary care physicians to avoid any preventable drug interactions and side effects.