|New Approach For Improving Depression Care Introduced At 10 Minnesota Clinics
Ten primary care clinics in the Twin Cities, Duluth and
Rochester are the first in Minnesota to offer a new approach for caring
for patients with depression, according to the Institute for Clinical
Systems Improvement (ICSI).
To date, 234 patients have been enrolled in the program
– called Depression Improvement Across Minnesota, Offering a New
Direction (DIAMOND) – since it began in March, ICSI said.
The program is the result of a collaboration between
dozens of Minnesota medical groups, six regional health plans and the
Minnesota Department of Human Services. Their efforts have been guided
by the ICSI, a non-profit organization that brings medical groups,
health plans, patients, healthcare purchasers and other constituencies
together to develop solutions to problems in healthcare.
Key elements of DIAMOND include use of a standard
assessment tool to improve the diagnosis and management of depression
in the primary care clinic, the addition of a care manager and
consulting psychiatrist to the patient’s treatment team, tools to
prevent the patient from relapsing and a tracking system to monitor
follow-up care and treatment effectiveness. The model allows for
comprehensive care with constant information sharing among the care
providers, ICSI said.
Additional medical groups and clinics are completing
training and other preparations through ICSI to become certified to
offer the program. At least 90 primary care clinics in large and small
communities across Minnesota and northern Wisconsin plan to be using
the DIAMOND model by March 2010, according to ICSI.
Clinical trials have demonstrated that use of this model
in the primary care setting reduces the incidence of suicidal thoughts,
puts patients in remission faster, results in 100 additional productive
days over a two-year period and reduces healthcare costs by more than
$3,000 over a four-year period compared to patients who receive the
usual primary care treatment and/or referral approach for depression,
DIAMOND also features a new payment structure. DIAMOND
requires medical groups to establish a care manager role and make other
changes in their depression care practices.
Through ICSI, health plans and medical groups worked
together on a new pay model whereby medical groups receive a periodic
fee from health plans that covers the costs of these services. The
health plansand medical groups negotiated the reimbursement rates
Without changes to payment structures, medical groups
would not be able to provide the care manager and consulting
psychiatrist services to patients, ICSI said.
Address: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, 8009 34th Ave. South, Suite 1200, Bloomington, MN 55425; (952) 814-7060, www.icsi.org.