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Behavioral Health Program

The Bluestone psychiatric team provides both on-site and virtual visits for patients requiring psychiatric care.

Who needs psychiatric care?

Older adults have special physical, emotional and social needs. Age-related complications include dementia, depression, anxiety and late-life schizophrenia. Other concerns may include difficulty coping with change, stress, death, depression, memory problems, anxiety or agitation. Sometimes chronic medical conditions cause emotional problems to occur for the first time in older adults. Psychiatric care offers valuable help to older adults who are coping with these changes in health and function.

On-site or virtual visits by a psychiatrist allow patients living in a group-home setting or attending community day programs to receive the care they need.

How does psychiatric care through Bluestone work?

A patient residing in a community where Bluestone provides care first sees the Bluestone primary care team to determine if a referral for psychiatric care is needed. In addressing complex situations involving both medical and mental illness, Bluestone primary care providers collaborate closely with the psychiatric team to manage medications and consult on additional interventions to support the patient’s mental health.

When a patient is referred for Bluestone psychiatric care, a visit date is set for either an in-person or virtual visit. The first visit includes getting a complete medical history; a neurological exam that includes memory, problem-solving, language and counting tests; a mental status exam; and an assessment of functional capabilities. It is beneficial to have family or other caregivers present who can help provide information and observations that the patient may not be able to articulate. The psychiatrist then develops a plan to address mental health issues and establishes a follow-up schedule to track progress.

How are virtual visits conducted?

Bluestone uses telehealth visits to give patients real-time access to providers. A Bluestone staff member or other healthcare professional assists with the setup. Bluestone employs video technology that allows the psychiatric team to conduct patient interviews while incorporating the required privacy and security measures. Bluestone patients enjoy their follow-up visits from the comfort of their residence with minimal disruption to their daily routine.

Goals of the psychiatric care team

The primary purpose of psychiatric treatment is to improve the patient’s quality of life. Additional goals include:

  • Educating family and caregivers on the risks and benefits of psychotropic drugs and avoiding or reducing the use of these medications where possible
  • Educating and involving nursing staff at residential communities to support psychiatric care
  • Avoiding hospitalizations for psychiatric issues
  • Reducing the impact of high-cost medications by using generic equivalent prescriptions

Bluestone behavioral health program elements

  • Facility Programming
    • Staff training on behavior plans and memory care program development
  • Consultation
    • Primary care teams and care coordinators consult with Bluestone psychiatrist
    • Routine antipsychotic management
    • Behavioral health-related transitions of care
  • Tele-Health/Virtual Visits
    • Community-based crisis management
    • Ongoing medication management
    • Supported by selected payers
  • Face-to-Face
    • On-site psychiatry visit
    • High collaboration with facility/community staff
    • Supported by all payers
  • Psychiatric Primary Care (Medical Home)
    • Intensive psychiatric management for high-risk medical home patients
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