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Innovations at the Interface of Primary and Specialty Care

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As health systems adapt to focus increasingly on maximizing the value of care they deliver, more and more are coming to recognize the importance of improving efficiency and quality at the interface of primary care and specialty care. With every referral, there is a risk of fragmentation of care. Poor communication leads to poor coordination, and poor coordination of care often creates gaps in quality and higher costs that undermine the goal of high-value care. Fortunately, these are problems that can be solved, as the health systems and programs in this report demonstrate. Pioneered at three health systems in the United States – Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Mayo Clinic, and University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center – the innovations described in this report share a commitment to efficient use of provider time, teamwork, and training to improve both health outcomes and the patient experience of care.

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