MD tagged posts

Nursing Homes Are Turning Away Patients with Mental Health Issues

Daniel D. Sewell Photo

Daniel D. Sewell, MD, Director, Senior Behavioral Health, UC San Diego Medical Center

Care For Your Mind acknowledges and appreciates the collaboration of the National Network of Depression Centers and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in developing this post.

Chemical restraint is a serious problem in nursing homes. History has shown that psychotropic medications tend to be overused in order to keep residents with problem behaviors such as wandering or combativeness subdued or “under control.”

In other words, there are documented instances when serious psychiatric drugs are given to people who might not have needed them.

To address this and other nursing home quality issues, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) created a Five-Star Quality Rating System. One of the rating criteria is the number of residents at the facility who are receiving antipsychotic medications: the larger the number, the lower the score the facility receives.

Read More

Why You Deserve Shared Decision Making

Editor’s note: Care for Your Mind—in partnership with the National Network of Depression Centers and other organizations—has been seeking answers to the question: what’s keeping people from getting the mental health care they need? Shared decision making (SDM) is one piece of the puzzle, through which healthcare providers work with patients to understand their individual needs, preferences, and values. Then, patients and providers discuss different options and make care decisions together. It’s a common sense, personalized approach to care. Dr. John Williams introduces our series on SDM. Join the conversation!

John W. Williams Jr., MD Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry at Duke University

As a patient, would you want your physician making healthcare decisions on your behalf without any regard for your personal preferences, values, or needs? If you’re like most people, you’d prefer to be involved in choosing the care that’s right for you. After all, it’s your body, your mind, your financial resources, and your life.

Shared decision making, or SDM, is a process through which you and your doctor make decisions together, as partners. It’s a common sense concept: you discuss the things that matter to you, your doctor provides information, and then works with you to choose the best treatment for you.

Read More