LOCUS and Level of Care

Peter Forster Best Practices, Costs of Treatment

LOCUS© and CALOCUS© instruments were developed by the American Association of Community Psychiatrists (AACP). They are clinical tools that evaluate and determine level of care placements for psychiatric and addiction services for both adult and child/adolescent populations. We use these tools when we are working with the patient or family who is seriously symptomatic, failing to improve despite aggressive outpatient treatment, …

Prior Authorization Form – New Law in California

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Policy

Prior authorization forms for medications, and the entire prior authorization process, can be a nightmare. In my experience, with at least one company, the rule seemed to be, if you filled out a form you were told that you needed to call to obtain the OK, and if you called you were told to fill out a form. It was …

Genetic Testing for Depression Drugs

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Major Depression, Testing, Treatments of Depression

Genetic testing for depression drugs is a new approach to selecting medications that may have value, especially in patients with treatment resistant depression. We have been using the Genecept Assay for patients with treatment resistant depression and have found that the results improve our ability to choose effective treatments. Patients who have failed multiple adequate trials of medications are much less likely to …

Huge Victory on Mental Health Parity in California

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Policy

On September 10th the California Supreme Court let stand a California Appeals Court decision that the California mental health parity law requires coverage of treatment that may have no equivalent in other medical specialties. Specifically, the Appeals Court held that Blue Shield of California must cover residential treatment for eating disorders. The Court noted that residential treatment was among the …

Depression Costs US 200 Billion Dollars Per Year

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Treatments of Depression

A meta-analysis of more than 60 clinical studies covering almost 60,000 adult patients estimates that the total cost in the United States of the treatment of patients with depression is in the range of $188 billion to $200 billion. Roughly a third of all costs ($64 billion) are related to people with treatment-resistant depression, who represent only a fraction of all cases. The article, “A Review of the Clinical, Economic, …