Continuing Education to Improve Depression Treatment Can Prevent Millions in Costs

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Continuing Education to Improve Depression Treatment Can Prevent Millions in Costs

A study has shown that continuing medical education (CME), leading to improved remission rates in patients with depression, can potentially result in millions of dollars in health care savings. The study was conducted by CMEology, West Hartford, CT, a leader in CME and innovator in outcomes research.

Depression is one of the most costly mental health disorders. Although effective treatments are available, many people with depression do not get better. Difficult-to-treat depression costs up to $48 billion annually in the US.

The study used computer modeling to estimate the economic impact when CME participants apply new learning to improve patient care. Healthcare providers participated in an online CME activity titled, "Advanced Topics in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): Practical Strategies to Improve Remission." Using estimates from previous economic studies of patients with depression, researchers predicted how much costs would decrease if healthcare providers achieved improvements in just one in ten of their patients with depression following completion of an online learning activity. The predicted direct medical costs prevented for 6 months were estimated to be $5.4 million for those achieving partial remission and $11.3 million for those achieving full remission.

While it is known that CME improves patient outcomes, evidence increasingly demonstrates the ability of CME to have an economic impact.  According to Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Midland, Texas, "When treating depression it is important to strive for full functional remission. The results of this study suggest that CME leading to improved remission rates can have a far-reaching economic impact as well as benefits to patients' recovery. This is an important consideration with growing healthcare costs."

This activity was supported by an educational grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Lundbeck. This activity was jointly provided by the CME Institute of Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., and CMEology.

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Media Contact: Rob Lowney, CMEology, 860-236-1200,

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