Improving health outcomes and quality of life.
Recent studies have shown that people with severe mental illnesses die 25 years earlier than the general population, mainly because of poorly recognized and treated medical illnesses. It is also increasingly recognized that co-occurring medical and psychiatric illnesses contribute disproportionately to the high cost of medical care.
There is growing interest in developing models of integrated care for people with mental illness, which will improve health outcomes and quality of life, while reducing overall costs.
Integrating psychiatric and medical care at the Center
The Center is actively developing models of integrated care, which treat both psychiatric and medical illnesses. With a grant from The Duke Endowment, we have established a Health Home for persons with severe mental illness, one that emphasizes health monitoring and prevention, health and wellness programs, and coordination of psychiatric and medical care.
A pilot program provides medical and behavioral health care for adolescents with poorly treated chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Additionally, the Center is collaborating with Piedmont Health and the UNC/BCBS Clinic Carolina Advanced Health to provide psychiatric consultations to help improve the care of mental illness in primary care settings.
Integrated care will be a significant part of the new health care system emerging from the Accountable Care Act. The Center and its partners are working to build programs that will improve care and reduce costs.
Robin Reed, MD, MPH
Director of the Health Home firstname.lastname@example.org