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LACK OF ACCESS TO CARE IS THE ROOT CAUSE FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS IN THE U.S. Demand for mental health services is greater than ever and services are not keeping pace. Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA)-Mental Health HPSA Scores are developed for use by the National Health Service Corps to determine priorities for the assignment of clinicians. Scores range from 1 to 25 for primary care and mental health. The higher the score, the greater the priority. Psychiatric Pharmacists Increase Access and Improve Patient Outcomes Psychiatric pharmacists are qualified to provide direct patient care through advanced training, experience, and board certification. Utilizing psychiatric pharmacists for medication management increases availability to psychiatrists, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners resulting in decreased wait times for appointments. Patients treated by a psychiatric pharmacist have improved outcomes including: • Consistency in taking medications • Improved symptoms • Higher satisfaction • Fewer primary care physician visits. Patients deserve the high-quality, evidence- based care psychiatric pharmacists provide. This care, like care provided by other types of health care providers, should be reimbursed. CPNP urges federal policymakers to support legislation to: Require CMS and other payers to pay for services provided by psychiatric pharmacists. Expand the mental health and substance use disorder treatment workforce through integration of psychiatric pharmacists. Increase adoption of innovative care and payment models that integrate behavioral health and primary care services.

References

  1. Cohen Veterans Network. America’s Mental Health 2018. Accessed December 31, 20202 from: https://www.cohenveteransnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Research-Summary-10-10-2018.pdf  
  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness [Internet]. [cited 2020 Dec 31]. Mental Health By the Numbers. Available from: https://www.nami.org/mhstats
  3. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Accessed December 31, 2020 from: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf  
  4. KFF [Internet]. [cited 2020 Dec 31]. Mental Health Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). Available from: http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/mental-health-care-health-professional-shortage-areas-hpsas/?currentTimeframe=0                                                                                                                             
  5. Finley PR, Rens HR, Pont JT, Gess SL, Louie C, Bull SA, et al. Impact of a collaborative pharmacy practice model on the treatment of depression in primary care. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2002;59(16):1518-26. PubMed PMID: 12185826.