CBCS News

USF’s Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health issues updated medication guidelines

The Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida has updated the 2015 Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults. These evidence-based guidelines are updated every other year to reflect the most recent scientific knowledge and provide critical recommendations for physicians prescribing psychotherapeutic medications to treat mental illnesses. The guidelines are designed to inform and support psychiatrists and primary care clinicians who provide the majority of mental health care in the State of Florida.
 
The 2015 Florida Best Practice Psychotherapeutic Medication Guidelines for Adults were developed by an expert panel comprised of national and state experts from various fields such as psychiatry, pharmacy, obstetrics/gynecology, academia, and managed care. The process for developing the adult guidelines was published recently in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
 
In 2005, the Agency for Health Care Administration implemented the Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health at the University of South Florida pursuant to section 409.912(39) (a)10, Florida Statutes. The program’s mandate and goals are to improve the quality of behavioral health drug prescribing, improve patient adherence, reduce clinical risks and control costs while providing appropriate treatment.
 
“These guidelines are an important document summarizing the latest scientific evidence to guide treatment decisions,” says Marie McPherson, MBA, the program’s director.
 
Two important sections updated in 2015 focus on major depressive disorder with mixed features and mood disorders in pregnancy. The section on mood disorders during pregnancy has been added to help clinicians - both specialists and nonspecialists - who face unique challenges in treating women with psychotherapeutic medications during pregnancy.
 
“Many women suffer from mood disorders during pregnancy, and there is a dire need for resources for the health care providers who take care of them. Evidence based guidelines focused on reproductive safety are urgently needed, and this will be an important resource,” says Dr. Marlene Freeman, who contributed to the development of the guidelines and is the Director of Clinical Services, Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital.
 
The guidelines can be accessed on the program’s website at:
www.medicaidmentalhealth.org.
For more information about the guidelines or to order free copies, e-mail
sabrinasingh@usf.edu.
 
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.