Friday, June 20, 2008

Not Getting Enough OCD Meds?

According to a study released today, about 67% of patients newly diagnosed with OCD were insufficiently medicated, either in dosage or duration of therapy. You can read the story at . That certainly sounds dramatic, doesn't it? But considering the methodology of the research, it may not be quite so surprising. The data came from a retrospective claims analysis looking back nine years at 987 Medicaid recipients who were newly diagnosed with OCD. Could it be that the standard of care was deficient because of the insurance? Medicaid providers are notoriously underpaid and drugs are tightly managed. I'd place my bet that reimbursement rather than medical incompetence was the real issue.
I can't find anywhere in the study that pinpoints psychiatrists as the providers who either diagnosed or prescribed. In any event, I wanted to underscore how important it is that a psychiatrist, not your family physician, be responsible for psychiatric diagnoses and treatment. I just finished meeting with a client who was probably under-medicated for OCD by his family physician. Going to your family doctor for psychiatric treatment is akin to seeing an infectious disease doc to have your teeth cleaned.
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