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Pulse Home Health Care practices skilled health care procedures firmly rooted in the latest research and best practice policies. We routinely mail bulletins to physicians and other medical referral sources to highlight how we help patients and to explain the scientific basis for different services. On our home health website we share selected physician bulletins about Pulse's Home Health Services. If you have questions about how home health could help you, please contact us today.

More Help for Your Patients with Psychiatric Challenges

Psychiatric ChallengesA Call to Action:  The Surgeon General reports that mental disorders account for more than 15 percent of the overall economic burden of disease.  Even with an estimated 50% of psychiatric disorders going undiagnosed, (1) their cost ranks higher than all forms of cancer combined.  Depression alone produces as much suffering and disability as heart disease or diabetes, especially among the elderly.(2)

Pulse’s Psychiatric Nursing Program: This program is a specialty home health service utilizing nurses with extensive experience in mental health.  Complimenting normal psychiatric care delivery systems with the addition of in-home interventions has resulted in significant reduction in both hospitalization admission and recidivism rates. (3)  Mental health home care programs have also been associated with cost reductions of up to 68%, improvement in mental conditions, social functional outcomes, and service satisfaction. (4)  Psychiatric home health promises to be an important tool for physicians in terms of controlling America’s healthcare costs while improving patient care.  In general terms, psychiatric home health nurses use many of the same approaches our home health nurses use for chronic disease management programs.  They work with both your patient and your patient’s at-home caregivers to enhance education about important medications, coping strategies, disease recognition, and disease management.  In the home environment, psychiatric nurses can work on issues such as transition from in-patient facilities, caregiver concerns, lack of structure/involvement in daily activities, structural and functional factors affecting adherence, and the presence of persistent symptoms.  Your patients may or may not have been exposed to some or all of the same data in other settings, but the Pulse’s home health care model for reinforcing disease management education consistently results in greater understanding, adherence, and patient / family peace-of-mind.

The Role of the Family Practitioner:  Pulse receives psychiatric home health referrals from both psychiatrists and family practitioners.  In 1996, the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS), broadened service capacities by allowing all physicians, not only psychiatrists, to sign a Medicare psychiatric plan of care.  For reasons that sometimes revolve around economics, primary care physicians actually provide the majority of mental health care. (5)  Estimates suggest that 11% to 36% of primary care patients have a psychiatric disorder.(1)  If you have patients showing non-adherence to psychiatric medication, having family problems revolving around a psychiatric condition, or receiving repeated admissions to in-patient facilities, consider Pulse’s Psychiatric Nursing Program as a possible extension of your care.  In addition, if you have patients with physical maladies accompanied by psychiatric comorbidities, please bear in mind that Pulse Home Health Care is one of the few home health providers who has nursing specialized in both domains. 

Medicare Pays 100%: As with other home health services, Medicare pays 100% of psychiatric home health for qualified patients.  Qualified patients have no co-pays, deductibles, or other out-of-pocket costs.  Medication teaching and disease management teaching usually meet the skilled need requirement.  The normal skilled need qualification applies, but there is one important exception to homebound status.  Patients with a psychiatric diagnosis that manifests itself in a refusal to leave the home or with a psychiatric condition that would make it unsafe to leave the home unattended qualify as homebound even in the absence of physical limitations.


  1. Tiemens B, Ormel J, Simon G. Occurrence, recognition, and outcome of psychological disorders in primary care. Am J Psychiatry 1996; 153(5): 636-44.
  2. Well K, Sherbourne C, Schoenabaum M, et al. Impact of disseminating quality improvement programs for depression in managed care. JAMA 2000; 283(2): 212-20.
  3. Biala K. Psychiatric home health: the newest kid on the block. Home Care Provid. 1996 Jul-Aug; 1 (4): 202-4.
  4. Tsai S, Chen M, Yin T. A comparison of the costs-effectiveness of hospital-based home care with that of a conventional outpatient follow-up for patients with mental illness. J Nurs Res. 2005; 13(3): 165-73.
  5. Gallo J, Coyne J. The challenge of depression in late life: bridging science and service in primary care. JAMA 2000; 284 (12): 1570-2.


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2325 Severn Ave, Ste 5 Pulse Home Health CareMetairie LA 70001 Pulse Home Health Care(504) 831-7778

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