BATON ROUGE, La., Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Louisiana Healthcare Connections is pleased to announce that its one-year
The integrated care model ensures coordination of care among physical and mental health providers. Louisiana Healthcare Connections implemented the pilot in late 2017 to drive coordinated care in pediatric practices. The pilot placed a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Red Stick Pediatrics in Baton Rouge to assist clinical staff in identifying and addressing barriers to care for children with behavioral health concerns.
Red Stick Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner Leslie Irby, MSN, CPNP, notes that having an in-office LCSW has enabled Red Stick Pediatrics to "treat the patient as a whole person, not an individual disease process or illness."
"The addition of a behavioral health partner in our clinic has not only allowed our providers to successfully address and treat a variety of mental health issues that are faced by a high risk population, such as the one Red Stick Pediatrics serves, but also allows easier and more convenient access to mental health services in our community," Irby says. "As a referring provider, I have found the patients and families have more confidence in efficacy and willingness to participate in mental health services that are coordinated, and provided by a person, in an environment they already trust."
Brittney Santora, the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) who works with Red Stick Pediatrics' patients as part of the program, agrees that a key element in the success of this pilot was building trust among the patients she serves, and like Irby, she emphasizes the clinical value of treating the whole patient.
"Providing a resource for families to get their emotional and behavioral health needs addressed in an environment where they have already established trust, rapport and long-standing relationships with primary care providers has been invaluable to the families we serve. Integrating behavioral health and primary care helps to better inform both sides on the best course of action for our patients. Adding behavioral health services to primary care comes with challenges, as it requires providers and families to look beyond the physical needs of patients to their social and emotional needs."
Louisiana Healthcare Connections' Chief Medical Officer, Stewart Gordon, MD, will join Irby and Santora in presenting the results of this integrated care pilot project at the 2018 Louisiana Rural Health Association (LRHA) Conference in Baton Rouge. Their session, "Connecting Care: Integrating Care for Improved Outcomes," is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., Oct. 29, 2018.
"This model of care presents an opportunity for physicians to partner with behavioral health clinicians to help families overcome barriers to care and improve outcomes, and we have been very pleased by the results," says Gordon. "We look forward to sharing information about this pilot at the Louisiana Rural Health Association's conference."
The two-day conference brings together healthcare providers, public officials, healthcare employees, educators and consumers in a collaborative forum focused on education and best practices in health and healthcare.
About Louisiana Healthcare ConnectionsEstablished to deliver quality healthcare through local, regional and community-based partners, Louisiana Healthcare Connections is a Healthy Louisiana Plan headquartered in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana Healthcare Connections exists to improve the health of its members through focused, compassionate and coordinated care. Because Louisiana Healthcare Connections believes healthy is a way of life, its members benefit from programs and services designed for their personal well-being. For more information, www.LouisianaHealthConnect.com.
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SOURCE Louisiana Healthcare Connections
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