“We want to help connect the dots for patients, especially for the elderly, as many may not realize that their lack of energy may be due to depression,” Johns said. “We’ll have a mental health worker right there in the primary care clinic that they can see or speak with immediately.”
It is expected that once these integrated programs are fully underway, they will become self-sustaining from fee for service revenues and improved efficiencies from fewer missed appointments and reduced readmissions, the release stated. The long range plan is to expand these programs throughout Bassett Healthcare Network, with the overall goal of improving the health status of patients.
The grants awarded in support of this project are as follows:
$147,812 from the Appalachian Regional Commission, covering Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties, to recruit and hire new mental health care coordinators and licensed clinical social workers to support the ability of primary care health providers to identify and respond to their patients’ mental health needs and to provide direct care services.
$130,000 from the New York State Office of Mental Health to recruit and hire a new mental health care coordinator and a licensed clinical social worker to implement the integrated services project, for the elderly, in Schoharie County.
$75,000 from the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, $75,000 from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, and a $5,000 planning grant from Herkimer County HealthNet, to implement the new program in Herkimer County.