Care coordination agreements ensure quality care and establish protocols to support effective transitions. Although interviewees did not provide concrete evidence as to the usefulness of their early implementation of these agreements, their often expressed belief that these agreements have improved the quality of their care indicates that further research into their potential to improve coordination would be useful. Relatively inexpensive policy changes could help suppliers develop additional agreements and formally study their impact. United Hospital Fund of New York. NORC-Health Care LIENS. www.uhfnyc.org/initiatives/aging-in-place/norc-health-carelinkages. Published in 2005. Called on August 16, 2011. Almost all agreements deal with mechanics, how recommendations are requested and implemented. Respondents indicated that limited access to referrals was often the strongest motivation for launching the agreement. In general, the more standardized the referral process described in a CCA, the more likely the partners were to implement the agreement, and the more the partner practices praised it.
Based on topics discussed in respondents` descriptions of their agreements, we identified two main types of CCA. The first, sometimes called “master-service,” contains comprehensive agreements on how providers should generally make transfers and transfers of care. An example of such an agreement between primary care providers and specialists requires participants to “define responsibilities between PCP, specialist and patient” and to “maintain skills and competencies in the context of work and standards of care.” The second type of co-management agreement is one that defines specific conceptions of the distribution of co-management tasks under certain conditions (for example). B a detailed algorithm that describes the process by which children with pediatric dysfunction are first evaluated by their pediatrician and then, if necessary, referred to a pediatrician). Many CCAs contain elements of both types (for example. B a master service contract that defines general expectations for interactions between participants, as well as specific co-management agreements for conditions of particular interest). (See Table 1, which outlines the characteristics of the CCA in the procedures evaluated for this study.) In total, from July 2010 to April 2011, 37 telephone interviews were conducted with 6 national experts who published in detail in the literature on the coordination of care and related issues, and who are leading representatives of national organizations in the coordination of care, and 31 health care providers representing 15 partnerships.