Welcome to PsychU!

2020 National Forum Interview: Dr. John Kern

Dr. John Kern responded to some follow-up questions after participating in the 2020 National Forum titled “Bridging the Care Continuum,” providing his personal perspective on how to transform the healthcare… Read More

2020 National Forum Interview: Dr. Ken Duckworth

Dr. Ken Duckworth responded to some follow-up questions after participating in the 2020 National Forum titled “Bridging the Care Continuum,” providing his personal perspective on how to transform the healthcare… Read More

2020 National Forum Interview: Dr. Henry Chung

Dr. Henry Chung responded to some follow-up questions after participating in the 2020 National Forum titled “Bridging the Care Continuum,” providing his personal perspective on how to transform the healthcare… Read More

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational Interviewing is a counseling style intended to strengthen reasons for behavioral change by eliciting a client’s motivations for change and resolving ambivalence. This is an approach that health care… Read More

PsychU Thanks Dr. Sloan Manning!

The PsychU Community thanks Dr. Sloan Manning for his contributions to improving mental health care. Dr. Manning is the founding Section Advisor for the Primary Care Provider Corner, has led… Read More

2020 BIPOC Mental Health Month Toolkit

Each July, Mental Health America (MHA) aims to shed light on the multitude of mental health experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and others that face disproportionate… Read More

Digital Endpoints & Medication Optimization

In this presentation Dr. Timothy Aungst, Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, discusses the importance of medication optimization and digital technology. Dr. Aungst… Read More

Disclosing To Others Fact Sheet

Ideally, the people around you will understand your illness and encourage you. But the important people in your life might not know much about mental illness. They may want to… Read More

COVID-19 Resource & Information Guide

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Offers These Tips For People With Mental Illness: For anyone who is unsure about attending therapy sessions outside the home, especially those who… Read More

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020 Toolkit

Throughout May each year, we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM). Since 1949, Mental Health America (MHA) has been leading the observance of May MHAM. For 2020, MHA will continue… Read More

PsychU 360 Magazine

PsychU 360 – January 2020 Despite vast improvements in diagnosis and treatment over the last half-century, mental illness is underdiagnosed and undertreated. The reasons are many and varied. Among them:… Read More

Types Of Mental Health Professionals Fact Sheet

This fact sheet, created by the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), provides an overview of the different types of mental health professionals. Resource:Types of Mental Health Professionals (PDF). Download… Read More

Major Depressive Disorder In Chronic Kidney Disease

Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 260 million people worldwide1. The reported prevalence of depression in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) ranges from 20-65%2. This webinar provides an overview… Read More

Introduction To Opioid Use Disorder

Dr. Elizabeth DiNapoli provides a brief overview of opioid use disorder (OUD). Key points discussed include: what symptoms may be present if a person is struggling with OUD; how common… Read More

Pain Medication Questionnaire (PMQ)

The Pain Medication Questionnaire (PMQ) is a 26-item instrument designed to identify patients on a continuum from low to high risk for opioid misuse. The original study which validated the… Read More

Brief Risk Interview© (BRI)

The Brief Risk Interview© (BRI) was developed as a protocol to determine potential patient risk of violating a treatment agreement related to prescription opioids and risk of future opioid misuse.… Read More

Brief Risk Questionnaire© (BRQ)

The Brief Risk Questionnaire© (BRQ) is an opioid risk screening tool found to offer a good alternative to doing a clinical interview (see Brief Risk Interview© (BRI) https://psychu.org/brief-risk-interview-bri/). The tool… Read More

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)

The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D; HRSD; HDRS), designed in 1960, has become one of the most widely utilized rating scales intended to assess depression disorder symptom severity and change.… Read More

Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 Toolkit

Throughout May each year, we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM). For 2019, Mental Health America (MHA) is celebrating 70 years of celebrating MHAM by sharing their MHAM Toolkit. They… Read More

Where Can I Find Help For My Mental Health Condition?

This resource provides a list of national organizations that support consumers with mental health conditions by providing resources, services, and treatment options. Frameworks resources are intended for educational purposes only and… Read More

Language Normalization: A Resource For Providers

This resource discusses the importance of normalizing language with patients with mental health conditions. It emphasizes how normalization can enhance patient-provider communications by providing patients empathy and understanding. Frameworks resources are… Read More

Goal Setting: A Resource For Consumers

This resource introduces consumers to the idea of goal setting. Tips are provided for encouragement in the process. A checklist is also included to help identify areas of focus. Frameworks resources… Read More

Daily Tracker

This tool allows consumers to track how they are doing in weekly increments. It addresses key topics, including side effects, sleep, and appetite. The tracker is intended to be used… Read More

Shared Decision Making: A Resource For Consumers

This resource introduces consumers to shared decision making and the important role they play in the process. Tips are provided to  help patients engage more actively. Frameworks resources are intended for… Read More

Wellness Tracker

This tool is a simple checklist for consumers to complete in the waiting room. Consumers can easily check off how they’ve been feeling and write down issues or concerns they’d… Read More

Treatment For Bipolar Disorder: A Resource For Providers

This provider resource presents the importance of bipolar treatment, suggested treatment goals and considerations, an overview of psychosocial interventions and medication therapy, and considerations for monitoring treatment response. Frameworks resources… Read More

Coordination, Care & Value-Based Contracting

What is top of mind with thought leaders who are focused on the behavioral health/physical health integration? Four words— engagement, access, availability, and partnership. That was my takeaway from the… Read More

What’s The Window To Value-Based Care?

I’m still putting together my thoughts about the transition to value-based reimbursement for the specialty provider organizations serving complex consumers. I went to an event last week not quite sure… Read More

Your 21st Century Fund Development Toolkit

When our team talks to executives in non-profit organizations, we often hear a similar refrain when it comes to fundraising—getting individuals to give is getting harder each year and there… Read More

Biomarkers For Depression: An Interview With Robin Nelson, MD

During this interview, Robin Nelson, MD discusses the article summary “Biomarkers For Depression: Recent Insights, Current Challenges & Future Prospects” which can be viewed here: https://psychu.org/biomarkers-depression-recent-insights-current-challenges-future-prospects/. Read More

Do You Understand The Cost Of Value?

A Technology & Informatics Institute was a deep-dive into the organizations of the future— the organizations that will be sustainable will be data-driven, tech-enabled, and focused on value. How can… Read More

Connecting The Dots—Sustainability & Tech Leverage

A previous conference was packed full of new and neat technology—smartphone GPS monitoring for addiction treatment, wearables and invisibles, data integration platforms for improving care coordination and clinical decision support,… Read More

Even ‘Change Management’ Is Changing

Last week at a recent conference, our team was in full “tech immersion”. But my big takeaway was less about the technology itself and more about changing how organizations use… Read More

Online CBT Effective For Insomnia & Psychosis

Online cognitive behavioral therapy (eCBT) is effective for reducing insomnia and psychosis (paranoia and/or hallucinations). Compared to usual treatment, study participants reported both reduced insomnia and reduced paranoia when being… Read More

Telehealth Billing – Easier Than You Think?

The session on telehealth earlier this week was timely. A 2017 technology survey found that telehealth adoption by specialty provider organizations grew by more than 20 percentage points for both… Read More

Innovation Isn’t Enough

Earlier this year, my colleague Athena Mandros wrote about current best practices in discovering new business opportunities with health plans in The Golden Rule Of Payer Marketing. What we know… Read More

Is Your Staff ‘Performance Prepared’?

Using data to monitor organizational performance and drive management decisions is something we’ve written about extensively in the past month—Making Your Clinical Team Data Driven. And earlier this week, my… Read More

38% Of ACOs Preparing For Capitated Contracts

About 38% of accountable care organizations (ACOs) are preparing for capitated models. About 47% of ACOs are considering or have firm plans to participate in shared savings/shared risk models. The… Read More

Where Have All The Psychiatrists Gone?

I wrote recently about how the rise in the number of consumers who have health insurance hasn’t translated directly into access to care in mental health. I realize that there… Read More

3 Steps To Competing On Performance

Yesterday, Ken Carr discussed the challenges facing organizations shifting to a more data-driven culture that embraces metrics-based management tools (Making Your Clinical Team Data Driven). When faced with this challenge,… Read More

Making Your Clinical Team Data Driven

Sustainability requires improved organizational performance and improved value to our customer. But shifting organizational culture to one that is data driven and can use metrics-based management tools is a challenge… Read More

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered scale for assessing five of the most common types of mental disorders presenting in medical populations: depressive, anxiety, somatoform, alcohol use, and… Read More

Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (Brief PHQ)

The Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (Brief PHQ) is a self-administered scale for assessing depressive disorders and panic disorders. It is derived from the depression questions within the full Patient Health… Read More

Suicide Awareness In Primary Care

In this short interview, Marla Moses, FNP, PMHNP, PsychU Primary Care Providers’ Corner Section Editor and Owner of IN Moses Mental Health in Indianapolis, IN, shared her perspective on suicide… Read More

Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale (BSDS)

The Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Scale (BSDS) includes 19 question items (English Version), based upon questions that developer Ronald Pies, MD, found most helpful in detecting not only severe cases of… Read More

Patient Health Questionnaire 15 (PHQ-15)

The Patient Health Questionnaire 15 is a self-administered 15-item scale to measure somatic symptoms, with questions from the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). The PHQ family of measures, including abbreviated and… Read More

Telehealth Is Remaking More Than Therapy

I think telehealth services will be a major disruptor of the health and human service system—online therapy, remote consultations, virtual follow-up groups, and more (see Employer Health Plans Pushing Telehealth… Read More

Opioid Risk Tool© (ORT)

The Opioid Risk Tool© (ORT) is a five-question, self-administered assessment that can be completed within 5 minutes and should be utilized on a patient’s initial visit. It assesses the patient… Read More

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C)

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) is a brief alcohol screen that reliably identifies patients who are hazardous drinkers or who have active alcohol use disorders. The AUDIT-C contains… Read More


The Mini-Cog™ is a 3-minute instrument that can increase detection of cognitive impairment in older adults. It can be used effectively after brief training in both health care and community-based… Read More

Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale (GAD-7)

The Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale (GAD-7) is a self-administered 7-item anxiety scale initially developed to diagnose generalized anxiety disorder. The GAD-7 also proved to have sensitivity and specificity as… Read More

Medicaid Managed Care – From 0 To 100

In the past two or three years, growth in Medicaid managed care enrollment has slowed after dramatic increases between 2010 and 2014. Between 2016 and 2017, managed care enrollment grew… Read More

Your Data Security Deserves A Second Look

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Sharon Hicks took a hard look at the state of digital security – specifically how high-level demands for interoperability and health information exchange… Read More

Payer, Provider, Partner

We’re at the stage where the field is moving from talk to action on value-based reimbursement (VBR) and health plan/provider partnerships. While our January survey found only 40% of specialty… Read More

Be Ethical Or Be Regulated

While everyone complains about regulation, many times the purpose of regulation makes perfect sense. I think this is the case with new regulations in Florida focused on addiction treatment providers.… Read More

A Mosaic Solution To The Opioid Challenge

When Mario San Bartolomé, M.D., MBA the Corporate Medical Director, Substance Use Disorders for Molina Healthcare, Inc. wrapped up his opening keynote remarks earlier this month at a conference I… Read More

Comorbid Medical Illness In Bipolar Disorder

Key Messages This study measured rates of medical illnesses in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and assessed potential associations between medical disease burden and the clinical course of BD. Compared… Read More

In Integrated Care, One Size Does Not Fit All

Background & Purpose Integrated care is the systematic coordination of general and behavioral health care, encompassing primary care, substance abuse, and mental/behavioral health services.1 In a new study, “Outcomes of… Read More

The Top Priorities For Innovation Are…

In a time of disruption – both financial and technological – the ability to innovate is key to the sustainability of health and human service organizations. Typically, these innovations are… Read More

The Medicaid Spending Mosaic

Our new analysis of average per person Medicaid spending found that the U.S. spent $7,492 per person for the 68+ million enrollees in 2015. But our analysis also found there… Read More

Health Plan Strategy Meets The Opioid Crisis

You can’t look at the news without seeing something about the opioid crisis. The data supports the headlines. Across the country, deaths are up 200%, opioid-related inpatient stays are up… Read More

The Golden Rule Of Payer Marketing

Greetings from sunny California. Throughout the day, I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations with attendees – everything from new strategies for combating the opioid epidemic, to new models for integration… Read More

Lifestyle Changes Are Effective For Preventing Dementia

Healthier lifestyles are associated with declining prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia. Furthermore, specific lifestyle changes are effective for preventing dementia, including increasing education in early life, increasing physical activity… Read More

Neurobiology Of Risk For Bipolar Disorder

Key Messages Tools that would facilitate early diagnosis, intervention, and prevention of new bipolar episodes may be of benefit to patients with bipolar disorder or who may develop bipolar disorder… Read More

Improving The State Of Collaborative Care

There is a lot of discussion about “collaborative care” – generally referring to integrating behavioral health and primary care services. We’ve certainly written about it a lot in recent months… Read More

Smartphone Applications For Mental Health

Key Messages As little research has been done to characterize the information available to users of mental health-related smartphone applications (apps), the authors performed a content analysis of descriptions of… Read More

The Comorbidity Between Depression & Diabetes

Key Messages Depression and diabetes commonly co-occur, yet much uncertainty remains regarding the epidemiology, causation, outcomes, and treatment of this comorbidity. Findings from this review indicated that the relationship between… Read More

Q&A Session With Drs. Manning & Correll

During this question and answer session, Drs. Manning and Correll respond to unanswered questions from their Webinar entitled “Managing Metabolic Wellness In The Mentally Ill: Perspectives From Both A Primary… Read More

What Makes Integrated Health Care Work?

An interview with Dennis Freeman, PhD, CEO of Cherokee Health Systems, a Federally Qualified Health Center, Community Mental Health Center, and Migrant Health Center serving the needs of people across… Read More

Basics In Psychopharmacology

This video is part 1 of the 3-part series on Basic & Advanced Concepts In Psychopharmacology, from the Psychopharmacology Collection. The video starts with an introduction to the organization and… Read More

Medication Reconciliation For People With Schizophrenia

This brochure introduces medication reconciliation and the challenges of reconciliation in people with schizophrenia. It also briefly outlines potential steps that hospitals, providers, and community mental health centers may take… Read More

Medication Options For People With Schizophrenia

This brochure for the hospital treatment team provides information on hospital stays related to relapse reduction and the importance of considerations for treatment adherence from the hospital treatment team perspective,… Read More

Introducing Frameworks In Health & Quality

Introducing Frameworks In Health & Quality. Originally published as part of the FRAMEWORKS in Health and Quality – Value of Collaborative Care in Major Depressive Disorder. Read More

Depression & Cardiovascular Disease

Key Messages Depression has been shown to predict cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence and severity. This article reviewed research examining the inter-relationship between CVD and depression. Depression is a risk factor… Read More

CMS Announces New Primary Care Model, CPC+

This week, CMS announced Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+), a five-year model that will begin January 2017. CMS says it’s the largest-ever initiative to transform primary care delivery and payment… Read More

CMS Announces New CPC+Primary Care Model

On April 11, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the multi-payer Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) demonstration. CPC+ is a nationwide advanced primary care medical home… Read More

Primary Care Goes Virtual & On-Demand

There has been lots of coverage about “importing” specialist services to primary care offices via telehealth –  How Can We Deliver A Seamless Primary Care/Behavioral Health Consumer Experience?. So the recent announcement… Read More

Elements Of Successful CMHC-FQHC Partnerships

Both federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and community mental health centers (CMHC) play an important role in serving the population of consumers with complex needs. The payer push for integrated… Read More

All Integration Is Not The Same

Greetings from sunny San Diego! Today we launched the 2015 OPEN MINDS California Management Best Practices Institute with a pre-institute workshop “Succeeding In A World Of Integrated Care: Options For Behavioral Health… Read More

Specialty Care & Primary Care Reinvented

Our team has spent many months trying to answer questions about capacity in the health care system: How many health care professionals does any population need – and how many… Read More

Keep In Mind The “Why” Of Integration

In the past, I’ve covered the presentation by Arthur Evans, the Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), “What’s The Future Of Behavioral Health In… Read More