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High-Intensity Primary Care: Lessons for Physician and Patient Engagement

NIHCR Research Brief No. 9
October 2012
Tracy Yee, Amanda E. Lechner, Emily Carrier

To prevent costly emergency department visits and hospitalizations, a handful of care-delivery models offer high-intensity primary care to a subset of patients with complex or multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, obesity and depression. Early assessments of high-intensity primary care programs show promise, but these programs’ success in improving quality of care and lowering costs rests on the engagement of both physicians and patients. A number of factors can foster physician and patient engagement in high-intensity primary care programs, according to a new qualitative study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). For physicians, key factors include financial commitment and administrative support from health plans and well-designed financial incentives for quality and outcome improvements. In addition, allowing physicians to help identify patients who would benefit from intensive primary care may improve physician comfort and buy in. To encourage patient engagement, a personal invitation from physicians to join a high-intensity primary care program, as well as rapid access to physicians and care coordinators, appear to be highly successful approaches.

This article is available at the National Institute for Health Care Reform Web site by clicking here.






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The Center for Studying Health System Change Ceased operation on Dec. 31, 2013.