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On-screen mental-health care at PCP office

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There’s a growing movement to integrate mental-health care with primary-care practices in part by using  “virtual therapists” via telehealth technology in the primary-care offices. The Affordable Care Act encourages at least some of this.

As The Washington Post noted ”Integration has become the mantra of many systems nationwide,” and in some places primary-care practices  collaborate with “virtual teams of specialists {usually psychiatric social workers} collaborating with … primary care practices.”

This makes it easier to deal with the national shortage of psychiatrists.

As it is, primary-care doctors are often the only clinicians seeing, and trying to treat,  most patients’ serious mental- and behavioral-health problems — especially in rural areas and in the South generally. They need the help of psychiatric social workers, often communicating with patients on screens, to lessen their loads.


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