Deborah Keller, RN, BSN, CMCN, CPHQ

Chief Operating Officer

As a healthcare solutions vendor, we are committed to leveraging our unique place in the healthcare industry to gather and share the vast expertise we are so privileged to have within our client base.  With that goal, I am beginning a series of articles focused on how medical case managers can support their patients with behavioral health disorders or conditions.  In researching this topic, I have recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview several behavioral health experts across the country.  I have learned so much through these interviews that I can’t possibly include it all the material in my upcoming articles.  So, without giving away too much of the content of the articles, I would like to share some of what I have learned along the way via a coordinating series of “Thought” blogs on this topic.

Thought One:  With over sixty percent of psychiatrists in the United States being aged 55 or older and psychiatric residencies routinely unfilled, we are facing a shortage of services unprecedented in any other healthcare specialty in history.    This shortage is occurring at a time when we are experiencing a suicide crisis.  Despite the efforts to address the shortage of psychiatrists, the trend is expected to continue a path of growing disparity of a 3:1 ratio by 2026.  While case managers certainly cannot directly impact the shortage of psychiatrists, by increasing our knowledge on the treatment pathways of prevalent behavioral health conditions and better understanding our support role, we can positively impact our behavioral health patients and even help save lives, one at a time.