Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Missouri shows how it's done

Probably every one of us in the mental health profession can produce a (hopefully) short roster of psychiatrists whose prescribing practices are flawed. Some of them would like to squeeze their patient’s symptom presentations into formulaic drug regimens whereas others would under- or overprescribe.
Five years ago, the state of Missouri’s Behavioral Pharmacy Management Program began an ambitious educational outreach to those physicians operating on the edges of psychiatry. The program paid off well this year when the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded them one of their highly-regarded Science and Service Awards for 2008.
This innovative and voluntary program provides physicians with suggested prescribing strategies as well as clinical considerations. Physicians who continue to experience the same issues are offered per consultation.
"This is a model on how states can increase the quality of care that Medicaid residents with severe mental illnesses receive while encouraging more efficient use of taxpayer dollars," said Joseph Parks, M.D., Medical Director of Missouri's Department of Mental Health. "Through this project, many opportunities for coordination of care have been identified, resulting in improved quality of care and enhanced quality of life for persons with mental illness."
You can read more about this innovative program on the SAMHSA website.
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