Primary Care, Public Health Sectors Seek to Collaborate to Boost Population Health

March 28, 2013
by Jessica Pupillo
AAFP News Now


Historically, public health officials and primary care health professionals have worked largely in isolation from each other. As a result of an increasing emphasis on cost-effective, outcome-based health care, however, all of that is beginning to change. At all levels of health care -- from large governmental organizations to small community clinics -- members of the two disciplines are starting to look at opportunities to work together.
"This is a transformative moment in health care," said Lloyd Michener, M.D., chair of community and family medicine at Duke University in Durham, N.C. There's never been more financial pressure for primary care physicians to build relationships and partnerships with public health departments, he said. Not only are health care providers being challenged to reduce costs, but national organizations, including the CDC, the Healthcare Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and even third-party payers are looking for opportunities to align public health services with those delivered by primary care health professionals to improve population health.



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