FMCH Explores Impact of Integrated Health Care Systems in the U.S. and China

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Family Medicine and Community Health Explores Impact of Integrated Health Care Systems in the U.S. and China

Beijing, April 18, 2015: The impact of integrated health care systems in both the United States and China is the theme of the recently released issue of Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH), an international medical journal with editorial offices in China and the U.S. The eight articles in the Spring 2015 issue cover diverse models of Chinese and U.S. practices working to improve the health of their patients, with a particular focus on treatment of co-morbid behavioral and somatic issues.

While integrated care has been theorized to improve quality of care by increasing multidisciplinary collaboration, reducing medical errors, and improving patient access to quality care, there has been inadequate systematic investigation on how these multidisciplinary teams can operate most effectively. Neither has there been sufficient empirical work explicating the most effective health care pathways.

According to University of Nevada researchers, Cassandra Snipes, Alexandros Maragakis, and William O’Donohue in their article, “Team-based Stepped Care in Integrated Delivery Settings,” “fragmented health care delivery is recognized as increasingly problematic. Integrated care has been advanced as a reform that will improve quality of care and lower costs.” Electronic health records also play a major role in coordinating integrated care, thus maximizing quality and minimizing costs.

China’s efforts in comprehensive prevention and control of community chronic diseases began in 1997, and have focused on “early-stage intervention” for years. According to the China Work Plan on the Prevention and Control of Chronic Diseases (2012–2015), standardized management in communities holds the key in strengthening the country’s efforts targeting chronic diseases.

Other articles published in the issue, include:

Ronald O’Donnell, Nishant Shaun Anand, Caroline Ganser, Nancy Wexler:  “The Accountable Care Organization results: Population health management and quality improvement programs associated with increased quality of care and decreased utilization and cost of care.A descriptive review of the success of a Phoenix, AZ-based health care system to reduce costs and improve outcomes among its patient population utilizing the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCHM) model, along with electronic algorithms for patient care and a collaborative care model.

Kenneth Kushner, Gwynneth Schell: “A population-based approach to the management of depression in

a patient-centered medical home.” One U.S.-based family medicine clinic uses a team approach and electronic health records to establish a population-based approach to the management of depression as part of the application for PCMH designation.

Peizhong Li, Christopher Larrison, Richard Lennox, Matt Mollenhauer, David A. Sharar: “Effectiveness of an employment-based smoking cessation assistance program in China.” An evidence-based smoking cessation assistance program initially developed in the United States was adapted and implemented through an Employee Assistance Program in China. A 90-day follow-up evaluation showed that the program improved quit rates and reduced nicotine dependence.

Zhijun Wu, Weiyan Jian: “Availability and social determinants of community health management service for patients with chronic diseases: An empirical analysis on elderly hypertensive and diabetic patients in an eastern metropolis of China.” This analysis found that the coverage of community health management services for elderly hypertensive and diabetic patients needs improvement. More effort should focus on promoting the availability of community health management services for elderly patients with hypertension, especially those with lower socio-economic status.

Mark A. Strand, Andrea Huseth-Zosel, Meizi He, Judith Perry: “Menopause and the risk of metabolic syndrome among middle-aged Chinese women.” Health screenings for women in China should consider the increased risk for metabolic disorders such as hypertension and diabetes during the postmenopausal stage of life.

Minfang Huang, Donghai Wei, Louis Rubino, Lianshen Wang, Dazhuang Li, Bofeng Ding, Gan Li: ’Three essential elements of the primary health care system: a comparison between California in the US and Guangdong in China.” A comparison of California’s Primary Health Care System and Guangdong’s. The authors conclude that there is a need to increase spending and training of primary care physicians in China to move closer to the California model.

Rodger Kessler: “Evaluating the process of mental health and primary care integration: The Vermont Integration Profile.” An electronically-administered measure of integrated care processes was tested as a tool to evaluate the integration of behavioral health into primary care practices.

FMCH, a peer-reviewed, open access journal in its third year of publication, aims to promote timely communication of medical knowledge and skills and to provide better modalities of care globally. It focuses on family medicine, community health, chronic disease management, community nursing, hospice care, epidemiology, education and training and community health policy worldwide.

Family Medicine and Community Health is led internationally by Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Wei Wang, MD, PhD, FFPH, of Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Roger J. Zoorob, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, serves as the U.S. Editor.  Plans this year include the publication of three additional special topic issues: Evidence-Based Approaches to Population Health and Family Practice, Cancer Research, and Primary Care and Community Health.  Ronald R. O’Donnell, PhD, clinical professor at Arizona State University, served as special editor of this current issue.

FMCH is available on the IngentaConnect platform and at Submissions may be made using ScholarOne Manuscripts at There are no author submission or article processing fees.