Updated April 28 at 1:28am

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HEALTH SERVICES

RIPCPC forms alliance with behavioral health providers

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PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp., Rhode Island’s largest independent practice association, has formed an alliance with Rhode Island Behavioral Health Partners.

RIPCPC, which is composed of 140 primary care physicians throughout the Ocean State, began accepting behavioral health provider membership within their primary care organization on Dec. 1.

According to a release from the RIPCPC, the integration enables providers to offer “better behavioral health services to patients and allows for an improved standard of mental 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,” Dr. Al Puerini, president and CEO of RIPCPC, said in prepared remarks.

The cornerstone of the collaboration will be the development of a “Behavioral Health POD of providers,” according to a release. The providers will meet monthly with RIPCPC physicians in order to better coordinate care for their patients. They have also jointly created a Web portal that includes a real-time searchable behavioral health provider database.

“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.”

“One of the major factors driving up health care costs is that many individuals continue to make poor choices regarding their lifestyles,” Dr. James P. Curran, chairman at R.I. Behavioral Health Corp., said in a statement. “We at Behavioral Health of Rhode Island, along with our partners, R.I. 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.”

RIPCPC, R.I. Primary Care Physicians Corporation, Rhode Island Behavioral Health Partners, Health care,

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