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Sep 12, 2011

Collaborative Care and the Medical HomeA Good Match

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(16):1428-1429. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.371

Collaborative care has the potential to be a central component of “medical homes.” Collaborative care is the enlistment of extra resources (eg, health care providers with disease-specific expertise, ancillary health care providers, information technology with condition-specific registry tracking and monitoring capability) to enhance goal-directed care provided by primary care providers. A substantial body of evidence supports the benefits of collaborative care for specific clinical entities: depression, anxiety, congestive heart failure, poorly controlled diabetes mellitus, posttraumatic stress, chronic pain, dementia, high-risk elderly patients, terminal illness, and somatoform disorders.16 It seems that collaborative care works best for the most difficult and highest-risk conditions. It also seems to work best if the collaborative care process is embedded within the primary care setting, with close involvement of the primary care physician, as opposed to carve-out disease management models in which care may become fragmented.

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