The team care model, which includes a case manager, primary care provider and consulting psychiatrist, results in better outcomes when treating clinical depression, which affects an estimated 3 million older adults in the United States.
Depression in late life is a major contributor to Medicare costs. It is associated with 50 to 70 percent higher health care expenses, mostly due to increased medical, not mental health, visits and treatment. As team care treatment for depression has proven to be more cost effective than usual treatment models, major health care organizations around the country are starting to implement the team treatment model.
The team care approach, called IMPACT (Improving Mood Promoting Access to Collaborative Treatment for Late Life Depression), features a nurse, social worker or psychologist serving as a depression care manager who works with the primary care physician and a consulting psychiatrist to care for depressed patients in primary care clinics. Previous studies have shown the IMPACT program to provide powerful health benefits, including decreased depression and pain, improved physical functioning and better overall quality of life.
"For the same price as usual care, the IMPACT model provided an additional 107 depression-free days, a whole 'season of light,'" said Dr.Wayne Katon, professor and vice-chair of psychiatry and lead author of the cost effectiveness study. "We found that health benefits persist even a year after completion of the IMPACT program, and our cost data suggest that there is potential for l
Contact: Clare Hagerty
University of Washington