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Depression Screening Available In Medicare
Posted in: Medicare/Medicaid on April 4th, 2012

depressionThe government has been working to expand the services and treatments available for Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries. As times progress, so does illness and more conditions are becoming epidemic in recent years. Alzheimer’s has recently been added to the list of probable conditions that may be covered under the Social Security Disability program, and now depression is getting some much needed attention as well.

Depression

Depression is one of those conditions that is often difficult to manage.  Those affected often fight their diagnosis and attempt to self medicate or treat the illness themselves. Family and friends may find it difficult to accept a depression diagnosis and may not even recognize the signs of further problems. Research shows that depression is highly likely to go hand in hand with other illnesses and most people suffering are also experiencing one or more medical conditions. Chronic pain, anxiety, cancer and certain disabilities are commonly occurring conditions alongside depression.

Despite its prevalence, depression is often undiagnosed in certain populations such as the elderly. The elderly are less likely to seek help for their depression and screening tools haven’t been adapted to properly test for the condition. Add in the out of pocket costs for screening and treatment, depression in the elderly can be devastating. However, this past October the Medicare program began covering the costs of annual depression screening for beneficiaries. Medicare recipients can now get screened for free once per year and even receive treatment for a fraction of the cost.

 

 

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