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Association of Team-Based Care and Continuity of Care with Hospitalizations for Veterans with Comorbid Mental and Physical Health Conditions.

Germack HD, Leung L, Zhao X, Zhang H, Martsolf GR. Association of Team-Based Care and Continuity of Care with Hospitalizations for Veterans with Comorbid Mental and Physical Health Conditions. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Jan 1; 37(1):40-48.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Integrating mental health in primary care settings is associated with improved screening and detection of mental illness. In 2010, the Veterans Health Administration launched a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model nationally across all clinical sites that integrated mental health into primary care-the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) initiative. Team-based delivery of continuous primary and mental health care, as found in effective collaborative care models, is thought to be crucial to managing veterans with mental health disorders. The association between clinic implementation of specific aspects of PACT and clinical outcomes of veterans with mental health disorders remains unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between clinic implementation of team-based care and continuity of care and subsequent hospitalizations among veterans with mental health disorders. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PATIENTS: A total of 1,444,942 veterans with comorbid mental health disorders and physical health conditions receiving primary care in 831 VA PACT clinics in fiscal year (FY) 2015. MAIN MEASURES: We examined the clinic-level implementation of team-based care and continuity of care in the clinic where veterans received their primary care. Our primary outcome was any hospitalization in the VA or fee-based service in FY2016. We examined the impact of clinic-level implementation of team-based care and continuity of care on having a hospitalization, adjusting for patient demographic, clinical characteristics, and facility characteristics. KEY RESULTS: Veterans receiving care in clinics with the greatest versus lowest quartile of implementation of team-based care had lower rates of hospitalization (8.8% vs. 12.3%; adjusted OR = 0.92, 95% CI 0.85-0.99, p < 0.035). There was not a statistically significant association between clinic-level implementation of continuity of care and hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: Veterans receiving care in clinics with greater implementation of team-based care had statistically significant lower rates of hospitalization.





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