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Policy Levers Key for Primary Health Care Organizations to Support Primary Care Practices in Meeting Medical Home Expectations: Comparing Leading States to the Australian Experience

Policy Levers Key for Primary Health Care Organizations to Support Primary Care Practices in Meeting Medical Home Expectations: Comparing Leading States to the Australian Experience

Population Health Management 19(5): 357-367

Several countries with highly ranked delivery systems have implemented locally-based, publicly-funded primary health care organizations (PHCOs) as vehicles to strengthen their primary care foundations. In the United States, state governments have started down a similar pathway with models that share similarities with international PHCOs. The objective of this study was to determine if these kinds of organizations were working with primary care practices to improve their ability to provide comprehensive, coordinated, and accessible patient-centered care that met quality, safety, and efficiency outcomes-all core attributes of a medical home. This qualitative study looked at 4 different PHCO models-3 from the United States and 1 from Australia-with similar objectives and scope. Primary and secondary data included semi-structured interviews with 26 PHCOs and a review of government documents. The study found that the 4 PHCO models were engaging practices to meet a number of medical home expectations, but the US PHCOs were more uniform in efforts to work with practices and focused on arranging services to meet the needs of complex patients. There was significant variation in level of effort between the Australian PHCOs. These differences can be explained through the state governments' selection of payment models and use of data frameworks to support collaboration and incentivize performance of both PHCOs and practices. These findings offer policy lessons to inform health reform efforts under way to better capitalize on the potential of PHCOs to support a high-functioning primary health foundation as an essential component to a reformed health system.

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Accession: 058568304

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26636485

DOI: 10.1089/pop.2015.0108

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