Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation (RIPCPC), Rhode Island’s largest Independent Practice Association composed of 140 primary care physicians, is pleased to announce an alliance with Rhode Island’s Behavioral Health Providers.
RIPCPC's stated mission since its beginnings in 1994 is to improve the quality of patient care in R.I. As of December 1st, 2012, RIPCPC has been accepting behavioral health provider membership within their primary care organization. The outcome of this integration will be to provide better behavioral health services to patients and allow for an improved standard of mental health care. Both RIPCPC and the participating Behavioral Health Providers acknowledge that the current state of mental health care for Rhode Islanders lacks the cohesion, cooperation and communication required for a better standard of care.
“For years primary care physicians and behavioral health providers have struggled to interact and communicate with each other for the benefit of their patients. This initiative has integrated the care of both providers within the Patient Centered Medical Home, now developing throughout all RIPCPC practices,” says Dr. Al Puerini, President & CEO of RIPCPC.
The cornerstone for this collaboration will be the development of a Behavioral Health POD of providers. These providers will meet monthly with RIPCPC physicians to better coordinate care for their mutual patients. They have also jointly created a web portal on the RIPCPC website that will include a real-time searchable behavioral health provider database to be used by the PCP at the point of care.
This integration will allow RIPCPC’s physicians to smoothly facilitate direct referral to competent, capable, and available behavioral health professionals in a timely manner. In addition, they will be guaranteed that their patients will receive prompt behavioral health access as well as direct and secure bidirectional internet feedback concerning the patient’s behavioral health care.
“One of the major factors driving up health care costs is that many individuals continue to make poor choices regarding their lifestyles. We at Behavioral Health of Rhode Island, along with our partners, RI Primary Care Physicians, believe that we can work together to assist our patients in making better choices which will lead to a healthier lifestyle, and drive down health care costs,” says Dr. James P. Curran, Chairman, RI Behavioral Health Corp.
The Behavioral Health POD is currently comprised of several behavioral health provider groups serving geographically and demographically diverse areas within RI. This will provide quick access for patients and then provide direct feedback to the referring medical provider.
“This initiative finally facilitates timely behavioral health referrals, whether in crisis or in more routine situations,” Puerini said. “It provides better communication and collaboration between providers. The final and most important result is better mental health care for Rhode Islanders.”