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Integrated perinatal mental health care: a national model of perinatal primary care in vulnerable populations



Integrated perinatal mental health care: a national model of perinatal primary care in vulnerable populations



Primary Health Care Research and Development 2018: 1-8



IntroductionPerinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication of pregnancy and have been found to have long-term implications for both mother and child. In vulnerable patient populations such as those served at Denver Health, a federally qualified health center the prevalence of PMADs is nearly double the nationally reported rate of 15-20%. Nearly 17% of women will be diagnosed with major depression at some point in their lives and those numbers are twice as high in women who live in poverty. Women also appear to be at higher risk for depression in the child-bearing years. In order to better address these issues, an Integrated Perinatal Mental Health program was created to screen, assess, and treat PMADs in alignment with national recommendations to improve maternal-child health and wellness. This program was built upon a national model of Integrated Behavioral Health already in place at Denver Health. A multidisciplinary team of physicians, behavioral health providers, public health, and administrators was assembled at Denver Health, an integrated hospital and community health care system that serves as the safety net hospital to the city and county of Denver, CO. This team was brought together to create a universal screen-to-treat process for PMAD's in perinatal clinics and to adapt the existing Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) model into a program better suited to the health system's obstetric population. Universal prenatal and postnatal depression screening was implemented at the obstetric intake visit, a third trimester prenatal care visit, and at the postpartum visit across the clinical system. At the same time, IBH services were implemented across our health system's perinatal care system in a stepwise fashion. This included our women's care clinics as well as the family medicine and pediatric clinics. These efforts occurred in tandem to support all patients and staff enabling a specially trained behavioral health provider (psychologists and L.C.S.W.'s) to respond immediately to any positive screen during or after pregnancy. In August 2014 behavioral health providers were integrated into the women's care clinics. In January 2015 universal screening for PMADs was implemented throughout the perinatal care system. Screening has improved from 0% of women screened at the obstetric care intake visit in August 2014 to >75% of women screened in August 2016. IBH coverage by a licensed psychologist or licensed clinical social worker exists in 100% of perinatal clinics as of January 2016. As well, in order to gain sustainability, the ability to bill same day visits as well as to bill, and be reimbursed for screening and assessment visits, continues to improve and provide for a model that is self-sustaining for the future. Implementation of a universal screening process for PMADs alongside the development of an IBH model in perinatal care has led to the creation of a program that is feasible and has the capacity to serve as a national model for improving perinatal mental health in vulnerable populations.

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Accession: 065246399

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29911521

DOI: 10.1017/s1463423618000348


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