Transporting Integrated Primary Care to the Private Sector: Addressing the Business Challenges

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The primary care literature provides some useful information and several project examples for clinicians attempting to develop an integrated care practice, but prior discussion has been based largely on projects developed in government-funded or HMO systems. The current paper focuses on the business challenges of establishing an integrated care practice in a private, fee-for-service setting. Despite increasing commitment to the concept of the medical home, which embraces behavioral health care, physicians in the private sector remain cautious about proposed practice changes such as integrated care. There are additional obstacles that can impede successful implementation of integrated primary care in the private sector. The authors identify five major challenges and suggest potential strategies to address these challenges, drawing, in part, on their experience with a 4-year integrated primary care demonstration project.

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