Wayne Katon, MD, Discusses the Opportunities for Psychiatrists in Mental Health Management

Wayne J. Katon, MD, professor of psychiatry, director of the division of health services and epidemiology, and vice chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington Medical School, says that the type of patient a primary care physician sees can vary depending on the type of insurance the person has.

Wayne J. Katon, MD, professor of psychiatry, director of the division of health services and epidemiology, and vice chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington Medical School, says that the type of patient a primary care physician sees can vary depending on the type of insurance the person has. In particular, he notes that 20% of commercially-insured consumers cope with some form of mental illness, and half of those insured under Medicaid have a mental illness or substance abuse problem.

“There’s a tremendous interest and potential for psychiatrists to be involved in integration of approaches, because we know that there are tremendous gaps in quality of mental health care provided in primary care,” says Dr Katon.