Date: 07 Oct 2005

Realigning Clinical and Economic Incentives to Support Depression Management Within a Medicaid Population: The Colorado Access Experience

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Abstract

The authors describe their experiences in developing an economically sustainable depression care management program within Colorado Access, a non-profit Medicaid health plan. They describe high rates of mental health issues, medical comorbidities, and psychosocial barriers to care within the plan’s Medicaid population. They discuss how the company redirected resources to incorporate depression care management into an intensive care management program focused on high-cost members with multiple chronic medical conditions. This strategy allowed Colorado Access to cost effectively care manage a targeted group of high-cost Medicaid recipients across multiple primary care physician (PCP) practices without requiring changes in provider workflow.