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Team Treatment Helps Depression, Chronic Disease

Patients Have Better Outcomes With Team Approach to Managing Care, Study Finds

Potential Reduction in Health Costs

The average cost of the collaborative care intervention was about $1,200 for two years of nurse coaching.

Katon and colleagues are currently conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the intervention, but the researcher says the savings to the health care system associated with better management of chronic disease could be huge.

The average cost of treating a patient with multiple chronic diseases is about $10,000 annually, Katon says.

“Clearly, this is a timely intervention,” he says. “Over the next decade, Medicare costs are going to skyrocket. We are going to have to do something or it will break the bank.”

Depression and diabetes researcher Briana Mezuk, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University says the collaborative care model is increasingly being used by managed care groups to treat chronic disease.

She adds that the importance of integrating depression screening and treatment into the management of chronic disease is also being realized.

“We know that if we help patients manage depression they will take better care of themselves,” she says. “They are more likely to take their medications and do the other things their doctors want them to do.”

Dennis Revoyr says getting his depression under control and becoming an active participant in the management of his diabetes has made all the difference.

“For me, being involved in the decision-making process helped me do my part and follow through with what I needed to do to improve my health,” he tells WebMD. “I don’t like to be told what to do.”

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