Medical social work has traditionally been a component of the bundled services received in a hospital-setting. However, with more and more medical procedures being rendered in an outpatient setting, many patients have been unable to access the medical social work aspect of their care. In the past several years, Medicare and commercial insurance companies have established separate codes for medical social work delivered in an outpatient office setting so that patients can access this service.
There are only two requirements:
1. The patient must be diagnosed and undergoing treatment for a primary medical condition.
2. The patient cannot have a co-occurring mental disorder.
The stress of diagnosis, treatment, surgery, recovery, convalescent care, etc. and how these impact your life and your loved one’s lives is often severe. Moreover, the stress of life itself often exacerbates a medical condition. Using a comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment and recovery will help you to cope with your difficulties by working on accepting the reality of what you are facing, and be more courageous about going forward.
I have a lot of experience working with patients with the following issues: chronic pain, particularly trauma, migraine, fibromyalgia, and lupus; nephrology patients; endocrine issues, e.g. type 2 diabetes, hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism; cardiac, stroke and hypertensive patients; cancer patients; HIV disease; and obesity. Because my office has an outside staircase, I apologize that I cannot work with non-ambulatory patients.
Following Hurricane Katrina, I logged innumerable hours with patients of several New Orleans hospitals and area physicians with just these issues whose lives were already punctuated by living with or recovering from disease and then on top of that, the onslaught of Katrina and its myriad stressors. I often tell patients – “Use all of the tools in your toolbox.” What I mean is that recruiting multiple intervention strategies increases the likelihood that patients will be successful in their recoveries.
I will work with your primary care physician and/or nurse practitioner to help you manage your behavioral health issues.