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Article   |    
Medical-Psychiatry Units: An Economic Alternative for Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry?
Alan Stoudemire; Robert E. Hales; Charlene R. Thomas
Psychiatric Services 1987; doi:
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Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta

F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Reasons other than clinical and economic also support the value of a combined medical-psychiatry approach to clinical care. Medical-psychiatry units firmly place the psychiatrist back in the mainstream of the medical care system and solidify the psychiatrist's identity as a physician and medical specialist. The psychiatrist on such a unit may continue to provide consultation on an on-call basis and to perform limited liaison work when necessary, but he will maintain his principal affiliation with a unit that has the ability to provide integrated, conjoint care.Patients requiring more acute medical care would continue to be followed by consultation-liaison psycniatrists on medical or surgical wards until their condition became stable for the intermediate level of medical care that is generally appropriate for a medical-psychiatry unit.These units would not replace consultation-liaison activities, since such clinical activities are essential to recruit patients for the medical-psychiatry unit. The primary difference, in addition to the other clinical advantages mentioned above, would be that the majority of the actual extended treatment provided by psychiatrists would be provided in a combined unit where the psychiatrist would be fairly reimbursed for his professional time.

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