Lori Raney, MD: Mental Health Needs of An Aging Population

May 24, 2019
Patrick Campbell

Lori Raney, MD, of Health Management Associates in Colorado, sat down with us at APA 2019 to discuss how clinicians should address the mental health needs of an aging population.

As the US population continues to age, physicians in every field are having to look ahead and identify how to best address the needs of this aging population.

As the population continues to grow older, no specialty may be as impacted as psychiatry and mental health professionals. Lori Raney, MD, a psychiatrist and principal with Health Management Associates in CO, sat down with MD Magazine® at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association to give her thoughts on best practices for treatment of the aging population.

MD Mag: What are your concerns regarding the mental health needs among an aging US population?

Raney: You know, the original collaborative care study was the IMPACT trial and that was a study of depression in older Americans and it's really where we got our start with understanding the model, the evidence base, and how that can work. I'm really excited about the new collaborative care codes because when a new code comes out Medicare is automatically covered. So, the population in terms of this of this evidence-based model and who has coverage and who doesn't. It’s the Medicare population — the older population — that actually has the insurance coverage for getting collaborative care. So, being able to treat depression, anxiety, substance use conditions in the elderly population is extremely important. We have to work with the primary care practices to screen their population, screen every patient that comes in for depression and anxiety. It's additional workload for the nurses and the staff but at the same time, if we don't do that screening, sometimes we actually miss these disorders in the elderly population. We may write it off as a sign of aging that they're not as functional or not getting out as much, when in fact people are actually depressed. So being it really attuned to screening and being able to discover those mental health conditions and then using a robust model and again the collaborative care models was tested originally in an elderly population and did it did extremely well.


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