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Colocating Health Services - The Commonwealth Fund

Colocating Health Services - The Commonwealth Fund

Colocating Health Services - The Commonwealth

July 2008Issue BriefColocating Health Services:A Way to Improve Coordinationof Children’s Health Care?Sus a n n a Gi n s b u r gSG As s o c i a t e s Co n s u l t i n gFor more information about thisstudy, please contact:Susanna Ginsburg, M.S.W.President, SG Associates ConsultingE-mail sue@sgassociates.netABSTRACT: Pediatric practices are faced with a growing demand that they address thehealthy development of their patients. As pediatric practices strengthen their role as medicalhomes for their patients, they need either to provide expanded services or enhance theircapacity to coordinate that care. One option for enhancing the existing capacity of pediatricpractices is colocation with other providers and services in the same setting. This issuebrief examines what is currently known about the use of colocation and its benefits. Theliterature and interviews used as information resources for the brief suggest that colocationof services is not a single strategy but rather a complex set of relationships, organizationalstructures, and other features meant to help practices deliver effective care. However, morethorough examination of current colocation approaches is needed before advice can beprovided to practices considering this option. This and other CommonwealthFund publications are online atwww.commonwealthfund.org. Tolearn more about new publicationswhen they become available, visitthe Fund’s Web site and register toreceive e-mail alerts.Commonwealth Fund pub. 1153Vol. 41OverviewPediatric practices are facing increased demands to address more fully the myriadrequirements of children and their families. These requirements include:assessing and addressing the developmental and behavioral needs of children;treating chronic conditions, obesity, and substance abuse; and helping familiesnavigate the complex and fragmented health care delivery system to obtain services.In order to meet such varied and complex needs, a number of leaders inhealth care have advanced the “medical home” model of primary care to optimizethe coordination of patient services, among other functions. The medicalhome model has been a focal point for guidance from the American Academy ofPediatrics (AAP), 1 from newly developed accreditation standards by the NationalCommittee for Quality Assurance, and from the Commonwealth Fund’s vision ofa high-performing well-child system of care. 2

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