The Estes Park Institute

Conference News

Joe Scherger Discusses Two of Health Care's Most Timely Topics

June 28, 2019

Joseph Scherger, MD, discusses two of health care’s most timely topics at the Estes Park Institiute Half Moon Bay conference, October 27-30.

“Local, Inventive and Reasonable Cost Behavioral Health”

Behavioral Health covers a wide range of mental health problems from the common stress related conditions, anxiety disorders, and depression to more serious problems such a bipolar disease and schizophrenia. As much as 25% of all health problems patients present with are primarily mental health, and there is a behavioral health component of up to 75% of patient problems. Providing behavioral health care improves patient and population health and can lower costs by reducing expensive emergency room visits and excessive testing.

Most behavioral health care is provided by primary care physicians, and this primary care dimension should be recognized and supported. Referral options to behavioral health should include a range of providers working together, such as psychiatric social workers, marriage and family therapists, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists. These providers should be able to care for children and adults.

Dr. Scherger discusses these issues as well as the varied and often complex reimbursement for behavioral health.

“Opioids and Worse in the Community”

Addiction is on the rise in many communities. This is due to multiple factors: poverty, unemployment, lack of meaningful work, and social despair. Addressing these social determinants of health is important to stemming the tide of addiction.

There are gateways to addiction that the medical system may contribute to. The most common is prescribing medications with a high addiction potential: opioids and benzodiazepines. Alcoholism is one of the oldest of addictions that is still with us and must be identified and addressed, as well.

In some communities smoking remains a common addiction and results in poor community health, especially in pregnancy.

All of these issues will be addressed with recommendations for reducing addiction and promoting community health.

View Half Moon Bay Conference Program

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Half Moon Bay

Hear Dr. Scherger speak on these
important topics at our
Half Moon Bay Conference
October 27-30, 2019