In the March/April issue of Annals, six national family medicine organizations outline a set of joint principles that recognizes the centrality of behavioral health care (defined as mental health care, substance abuse care, health behavior change and attention to family and other psychosocial factors) to the patient-centered medical home.
These new principles supplement the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, formulated and endorsed in February 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association, that delineate the fundamental features of a primary health care setting in which a team of clinicians offers accessible first-contact primary care that is personal, coordinated and comprehensive.
In offering this codicil, the authors call for the prospective integration of behavioral health into the design of the PCMH, asserting that comprehensive health care cannot be achieved without including this element.
The newly released principles enjoy even broader support than the original Joint Principles with endorsements from the American Psychological Association, the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.
By Frank Verloin deGruy III, MD, MSFM, et al University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora