UW Medicine is Key Collaborator in an $18 Million Award to Fund Implementation of a New Collaborative Care Management Model

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded nearly $18 million to a national collaboration of partner organizations that includes UW Medicine. The three-year agreement, part of a $1 billion CMS Health Care Innovation Challenge, will fund implementation of an evidence-based collaborative care management model for patients with depression plus diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease in primary care in seven states.

UW researcher Jürgen Unützer leads the AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) Center that will participate in the collaboration. Unützer is principal investigator for the UW portion of the project. Other UW investigators on this project are Wayne Katon and Paul Ciechanowski.

Their work supports national healthcare goals of reducing costs, improving quality of care for individuals and meeting the healthcare needs of populations. Integrated mental health is designed to improve the health and mental health of populations through patient-centered, integrated mental health services. A large number of studies have shown that such programs are more effective and more cost-effective than usual care for common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

The newly funded program focuses on patients with depression plus one of two common diseases. About one-third of Medicare patients have diabetes and another one-third have coronary artery disease. Depression combined with one of these diseases substantially increases mortality and healthcare costs in this population. The two UW programs are supported by UW Center for Commercialization (C4C) licensing services and the Training Xchange accelerator services and training support program of C4C.