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If a pilot project being implemented by managed care company Humana Inc. proves successful, mental health and addiction treatment providers will find themselves working more closely with primary care physicians on the management of patients with mental health and addiction problems.
In particular, therapists without medical degrees may find themselves teamed with primary care physicians, who would prescribe medications and conduct case management.
The move by Louisville, Ky.-based Humana reflects the notion that in most cases, the locus of mental health and addiction care is found in the primary care physician's office.
The idea behind Humana's pilot project, which is being implemented in Cincinnati, is to have primary care physicians not only screen and diagnose for mental health and addiction disorders, but also manage the cases of patients who do not require extensive specialized treatment. Project managers also expect the effort to …