Psychology Can Be Indispensable to Health Care Reform and the Patient-Centered Medical Home

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed into legislation in March 2010, making health care reform a reality. Perhaps the most well-developed model of primary care that aligns with the PPACA's agenda is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Integrated care, as defined by collaborative care between mental health and primary care providers and systems, will undoubtedly play a critical role in the success of the PCMH. The role of psychology and integrated care in the PCMH as well as training implications for psychologists are discussed. This article is intended to challenge our discipline to embrace psychology as a health care profession that must prepare for and solidify its added value in the health care delivery models of the future. Requisite skill sets for primary care psychologists and existing training opportunities are presented. Finally, possible mechanisms for training psychologists in integrated care and the professional roles primary care psychologists can expect to fill are proposed.

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