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Providing Effective Primary Care for Patients with Serious Mental Illness: Additional Components to Enhance Practice

Abstract

Despite pronounced disparities in mortality and physical health outcomes, no well accepted models exist for integrating primary care with behavioral health for patients with serious mental illness (SMI). This article describes a case study of an enhanced approach to primary care that builds on the patient centered medical home (PCMH) model and adds three additional components: (1) longer and more frequent visits to establish trust and increase adherence, (2) a primary care team that has both the skills to provide effective primary care and the heart to take care of patients with SMI and (3) planned and proactive communication between the behavioral health team and the primary care team.

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Correspondence to Beat Daniel Steiner.

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Steiner, B.D., Wahrenberger, J.T. & Raney, L. Providing Effective Primary Care for Patients with Serious Mental Illness: Additional Components to Enhance Practice. Community Ment Health J 56, 592–596 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-019-00517-2

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Keywords

  • Integrated care
  • Serious mental illness
  • Primary care