Why is integrated care important?

In this article, we are going to talk about the importance of integrated health care. The term “integrated care” refers to the combination of mental health care plus primary health care in one single setting. There are several ways to implement integrated health care which also goes by different names such as “Health Homes” or “Collaborative Care”.

Integrated health care helps both the patients as well as their providers to a great extent by combining substance use, the expertise of mental health, as well as primary health care clinicians along with feedback from the patients as well as their caregivers. Thus, combining mental health care along with primary health care can go a long way in solving the physical health conditions of individuals struggling with severe mental problems.

The Importance of Integrated Health Care:
It is imperative to address the entire person along with his physical as well as behavioral health so as to provide positive health results as well as affordable healthcare. There are several individuals who do not like the idea of visiting any primary health care provider or having access to any mental health care provider as well. Even though it is possible to treat the majority of the mental disorders by implementing primary health care, preferably through medication, this might not be adequate for several patients. In fact, it is often quite tough for any primary health care provider to provide high-quality and effective mental health care while working solo. It will be feasible to minimize expenses to a great extent by combining mental health care services or expertise with primary health care; it will likewise help to save precious lives by improving the quality of care.

Dealing with behavioral and physical health:
Individuals suffering from untreated or even undertreated mental conditions might have to confront with serious consequences in the long run. In fact, individuals struggling with severe mental conditions tend to die approximately 20 years earlier as compared to the
general populace because of medical ailments which could not be treated by any primary health care provider.

Treating kids:
The majority of the toddlers struggling with mental health problems are treated within a primary health care setting rather than a specialized mental health care setting. Approximately, 50% of all the mental health conditions start at the age of 14 years. It is crucial to make an accurate diagnosis and also provide quality care within a primary health care setting.

Treating adults:
We usually see the adult individuals in a primary health care setting rather than in a mental health system. Approximately 50% of the mental health care will be provided by the primary health care providers for treating any common ailment including ADHD, anxiety, depression disorders, behavioral problems not to mention substance usage. In spite of this, individuals who are suffering from mental conditions and are treated within a primary health care setting do not usually receive proper behavioral health care. For instance, although a vast majority of the adult individuals suffering from depressive disorders see primary health care providers, only 50% are diagnosed accurately. Only 50% of the patients end up making an appointment once they are referred to a mental health care provider. Consequently, the majority of the behavioral health conditions go undetected, untreated or even undertreated

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