Management of Psychiatric Conditions in Primary Care

Create a patient scenario for the behavioral health issue that corresponds with the first initial of your last name in the table below. 

  1. Bipolar Disorder
  2. Include the following sections:
  3. Patient chief complaint

History of present illness 

  1. Social history 

Family medical history 

Past medical history 

Medications currently taken 

Include specific drug names (not drug class), dose, frequency

Medications you will prescribe to address current situation. 

If you are unable to prescribe anything for the current situation, explain why and what the plan will be to address the issue/symptoms.  

MARYLAND/ State and Federal Regulations

Identify the state where you live.

Identify what your state laws say about prescribing behavioral health drugs without being certified and/or credentialed as a psych-mental health NP.

How does the Affordable Care Act affect behavioral health care?

How do these factors impact the patient in the scenario you provided?

Community Resources

Provide information on how you would know if the patient you create needs support beyond what you can provide as a primary care NP.

Identify community resources available in your area to refer patients in need of assistance before they can establish care with a primary mental health provider.

Identify the facilities in your area where you would send a patient in need of urgent assessment and intervention.

Identify resources in your area that are available to patients who may not be able to afford behavioral health care.

  1. Legal & Ethical Considerations

Identify potential legal issues that could arise from how you do or do not choose to treat this patient.

  1. Identify potential ethical issues that could arise from how you do or do not choose to treat this patient.
  2. What follow-up is needed for your patient?
  3. What do you need to do as a primary care provider to mitigate potential risks in providing care for behavioral health concerns?
  4. Hi state is Maryland

Expert Solution Preview

Patient Scenario:

Behavioral Health Issue: Bipolar Disorder

Patient:
– Name: John Smith
– Age: 35
– Gender: Male

Chief Complaint:
John Smith presents with a history of mood swings and alternating periods of mania and depression. He seeks help for managing these symptoms and improving his overall quality of life.

History of Present Illness:
John reports experiencing episodes of elevated mood, increased energy, and decreased need for sleep, lasting for a week or longer. During these episodes, he engages in impulsive and risky behaviors, such as excessive spending, promiscuity, and substance abuse. He also struggles with disorganized thinking, racing thoughts, and difficulty concentrating. John has experienced several depressive episodes as well, characterized by persistent sadness, feelings of worthlessness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, changes in appetite, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms have significantly impacted his personal relationships, work performance, and overall functioning.

Social History:
John is currently employed as an engineer and has a stable income. He is married and has two children. He has a supportive family system but feels guilty for burdening them with his mood fluctuations. John acknowledges past alcohol and drug abuse, which he attributed to self-medication attempts during depressive episodes. He is currently abstinent from substance use.

Family Medical History:
John’s family history is significant for mood disorders, including bipolar disorder, in his maternal aunt and grandfather.

Past Medical History:
Apart from the psychiatric symptoms mentioned above, John has no significant medical history. He has not previously received a formal diagnosis or treatment for bipolar disorder.

Medications Currently Taken:
John is not currently taking any medications for his bipolar disorder.

Medications Prescribed:
Considering John’s presentation and symptoms, I would prescribe him the following medications to address his current situation:

1. Mood Stabilizer – Lithium Carbonate: 300 mg extended-release tablets, once daily in the evening. This medication will help regulate bipolar mood swings and control manic episodes.

2. Antidepressant – Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) – Escitalopram: 10 mg tablets, once daily in the morning. This medication will address depressive symptoms and assist in stabilizing mood.

It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits, as well as any potential side effects, of these medications with John. Monitoring blood levels of lithium should be conducted regularly to ensure therapeutic levels and prevent toxicity.

MARYLAND/ State and Federal Regulations:
In the state of Maryland, prescribing behavioral health drugs without being certified and/or credentialed as a psych-mental health NP is not allowed. Only licensed and certified mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychiatric nurse practitioners, can prescribe medications for behavioral health conditions.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Behavioral Health Care:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded access to behavioral health care services by requiring insurance plans to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment on par with other medical services. This means that individuals with mental health illnesses, including bipolar disorder, are entitled to receive necessary treatments and services without discrimination or additional cost burdens.

Impact on the Patient in the Scenario:
In the scenario provided, the ACA ensures that the patient, John Smith, has access to affordable behavioral health care services. This allows him to seek appropriate treatment, including psychotherapy, medication management, and other supportive interventions, which can positively impact his overall well-being and long-term prognosis.

Community Resources:
To determine if the patient, John Smith, needs support beyond what can be provided as a primary care NP, it is important to assess the severity and complexity of his symptoms. Referral to mental health specialists should be considered if John’s condition is severe, difficult to manage, or if he requires specialized treatment approaches.

Community resources available in Maryland to refer patients in need of assistance before they can establish care with a primary mental health provider include:

1. Maryland Behavioral Health Administration (BHA): Provides information on available mental health and substance abuse services, treatment providers, and support programs.

2. Local Community Mental Health Centers: Offer a range of behavioral health services, including counseling, therapy, medication management, and case management.

3. Crisis Hotlines: Crisis hotlines provide immediate support and guidance to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. In Maryland, the Maryland Crisis Hotline (1-800-422-0009) can be contacted for assistance.

4. Nonprofit Organizations: Local organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Maryland provide resources, support groups, and educational programs for individuals and families affected by mental health conditions.

Facilities for Urgent Assessment and Intervention:
In cases where a patient requires urgent assessment and intervention, the following facilities in Maryland can be considered:

1. Local Emergency Departments (ED): EDs have the capability to assess and stabilize individuals experiencing acute psychiatric crises.

2. Psychiatric Crisis Response Centers: These centers provide short-term crisis intervention, evaluation, and stabilization services for individuals experiencing severe mental health crises.

Resources for Affording Behavioral Health Care:
For patients who may not be able to afford behavioral health care, the following resources are available in Maryland:

1. Maryland Medicaid Program: Provides coverage for low-income individuals and families, ensuring access to mental health services.

2. Sliding Fee Scale Clinics: Some clinics offer services on a sliding fee scale, based on the patient’s income. These clinics provide affordable behavioral health care to those in need.

Legal & Ethical Considerations:
Potential legal issues that could arise from providing or withholding treatment for this patient include:

1. Negligence: Failing to provide appropriate care or medication management for bipolar disorder, leading to harm or worsened symptoms.

2. Informed Consent: Ensuring that the patient is fully informed about the risks, benefits, and potential side effects of the prescribed medications.

Potential ethical issues that could arise include:

1. Autonomy and Decision-Making: Respecting the patient’s autonomy to be involved in treatment decisions, as well as considering his individual values and preferences.

Follow-up and Risk Mitigation:
For this patient, regular follow-up appointments should be scheduled to assess treatment response, monitor medication side effects, and adjust treatment if necessary. It is crucial to establish a therapeutic relationship with the patient, provide ongoing support, and encourage open communication. Collaborating with mental health specialists and engaging in continued education about behavioral health care will help mitigate potential risks in providing care for behavioral health concerns. Timely referrals to mental health specialists, when needed, can also ensure comprehensive care for the patient.

#Management #Psychiatric #Conditions #Primary #Care

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