How 3 rural safety net clinics integrate care for patients: a qualitative case study

Authors, Primary Derrett,Sarah;Gunter,Kathryn E.;Nocon,Robert S.;Quinn,Michael T.;Coleman,Katie;Daniel,Donna M.;Wagner,Edward H.;Chin,Marshall H.
Title Primary How 3 rural safety net clinics integrate care for patients: a qualitative case study
Periodical Full Medical care
Pub Year 2014
Volume 52
issue 11 Supp 4
Start Page Not Available
Abstract BACKGROUND: Integrated care focuses on care coordination and patient centeredness. Integrated care supports continuity of care over time, with care that is coordinated within and between settings and is responsive to patients' needs. Currently, little is known about care integration for rural patients. OBJECTIVE: To examine challenges to care integration in rural safety net clinics and strategies to address these challenges. RESEARCH DESIGN: Qualitative case study. PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-six providers and staff from 3 rural clinics in the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative. METHODS: Interviews were analyzed using the framework method with themes organized within 3 constructs: Team Coordination and Empanelment, External Coordination and Partnerships, and Patient-centered and Community-centered Care. RESULTS: Participants described challenges common to safety net clinics, including limited access to specialists for Medicaid and uninsured patients, difficulty communicating with external providers, and payment models with limited support for care integration activities. Rurality compounded these challenges. Respondents reported benefits of empanelment and team-based care, and leveraged local resources to support care for patients. Rural clinics diversified roles within teams, shared responsibility for patient care, and colocated providers, as strategies to support care integration. CONCLUSIONS: Care integration was supported by 2 fundamental changes to organize and deliver care to patients-(1) empanelment with a designated group of patients being cared for by a provider; and (2) a multidisciplinary team able to address rural issues. New funding and organizational initiatives of the Affordable Care Act may help to further improve care integration, although additional solutions may be necessary to address particular needs of rural communities.
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Reference Type(s) Journal Article
Topic Tag(s) Comprehensive Care;Outcomes;Implementation;Team Based Health Care
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Case Study Yes
Commentary/Opinion Piece No
Historical Publication No
Key/Foundational Article No
Literature Review No
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