Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Magellan Health Services Hosts Leading Researcher on Treatment of ...

Genetic Engineering News - Larchmont,

Magellan Health Services, Inc., the nation's largest behavioral health disease management organization, hosted Indiana University School of Medicine professor Kurt Kroenke, M.D., a leading researcher on the treatment of depression in primary care, at a meeting of its senior clinical management today. Kroenke's findings, which highlight best practices in the identification and treatment of psychiatric conditions, particularly those that co-occur with medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic pain, have been incorporated into Magellan's behavioral care management programs.

"By taking action and acknowledging the fact that depression is not simply depression, but rather a combination of issues, we can work toward bridging the gap between medical and behavioral integration in primary care settings," said Kroenke. "My work with Magellan's clinical leadership is aimed at finding the best ways to integrate the two and yield better outcomes for patients."

"Kurt Kroenke is recognized as a leading voice in the field of integrated medical and behavioral care and we have been fortunate to draw upon his work as the grounding principles behind the system models we use to coordinate the treatment of behavioral conditions such as depression in primary care settings," said Alex Rodriguez, M.D., Magellan's chief medical officer - behavioral health. "Although Magellan has been working in the integrated disease management field for three years, the insight Dr. Kroenke's research provides toward our own clinical research and product development has enhanced our ability to successfully integrate medical and behavioral care for our members and customers.

Dr. Kroenke's perspective, based as it is on original and independent research, brings academic validation to Magellan's core behavioral health products as well as our new Condition Care Management product offerings."

Recent studies have shown that more than one-third of individuals with depression have "complicated depression," that is, depression combined with other conditions such as chronic pain, Alzheimer's disease or other medical disorders. Kroenke's research has illustrated the need for a more focused look at this issue. Magellan's clinical management have developed programs to mitigate the challenges in diagnosing individuals with multiple symptoms and to improve an individual's total health once a behavioral health component is recognized as an element of the illness.

Research also indicates that most individuals are treated for depression in primary care settings by clinicians who frequently lack training in mental health care, rather than receiving care from psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers or other behavioral health clinicians. To address this situation, Magellan has in place a number of depression disease management initiatives which connect Magellan care managers directly with primary care physicians (PCPs) and other medical professionals in order to provide specialized support and facilitate better behavioral health care treatment in the primary care setting.

After completing medical school at Washington University, Kroenke completed his specialty training in internal medicine and began a career in academic military medicine. A professor of internal medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine since 1997, he is the former president of the Society of General Internal Medicine, a master of the American College of Physicians, and serves on the editorial boards of several prominent medical journals.
Kroenke's presentation today was in conjunction with a four-day clinical leadership conference Magellan is holding this week to exchange organizational and industry best practices.

About Magellan: Headquartered in Avon, Conn., Magellan Health Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:MGLN) is the country's leading behavioral health disease management organization. Its customers include health plans, corporations and government agencies.

Magellan Health Services, Inc. Erin Somers, 410-953-2405 Tami Finch, 410-953-2414

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