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Integrating general pediatrics and mental health

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As part of a much wider push for integrated care, psychiatrists are teaming up with general pediatricians

Indeed, as this Wall Street Journal story reports:

”Now, more pediatricians are embedding mental-health professionals into their practices, where they can help spot problems early, provide care fast or reassure parents that a child’s behavior is normal.”

This integrated care … has other advantages: ”Pediatricians often see patients annually for a decade or more and follow families closely. If issues arise, instead of giving parents a referral, they can do a ‘warm handoff,’ personally introducing them to a therapist down the hall. In some practices, mental-health professionals evaluate patients and devise treatment plans that pediatricians or nurses carry out.”
Further, “there is less stigma associated with a doctor’s office than a mental-health clinic, so families are more receptive to treatment.”

Insurance-coverage rules have kept integrated care from catching on more widely and there aren’t enough psychiatric social workers and clinical psychologists. But physicians are getting insurers’ attention that this needs to change.






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