Many primary care physicians understand the challenges of taking care of patients with depression. Care management models for depression have been described as more effective than usual practice. The implementation of such a model requires a clinic manager to be able to predict how this new process might impact staffing and clinical demand. This study was designed to evaluate the initial impact of the implementation of a depression care manager (CM) model on the utilization of outpatient visits. The hypothesis is that the introduction of a CM model for depression in a primary care practice would be associated with an increased utilization of health care resources when compared to usual care (UC). There were 38 patients enrolled during the initial 2 months of implementation of the CM model. Using a retrospective medical record review, the CM population was compared to a similar group receiving UC (N = 49), and a significant increase in the percentage of patients who were seen for any reason in the CM population was found (65.8% vs. 36.7%, P = 0.01). The average CM patient had 1.24 outpatient visits for any reason vs. 0.69 for the UC group (P = 0.01). When specifically focusing on outpatient visits for depression, the CM group averaged 0.95 visits per patient as compared to the UC patients having 0.55 visits per patient (P = 0.04). This study suggests that the initial implementation of a CM model for treatment of depression will increase outpatient utilization. .
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Leadership and Management
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health