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Columns   |    
Best Practices: The Washington Heights Community Service Model: Positive Outcomes and Implications for Reimbursement Under the ACA
Dianna Dragatsi, M.D.; Jean-Marie E. Bradford, M.D.; Claire C. Holderness, M.D.; Karen McKinnon, M.A.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300519
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The authors are affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Washington Heights Community Service of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City (e-mail: dragats@nyspi.columbia.edu). Marcela Horvitz-Lennon, M.D., M.P.H., is editor of this column.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association


Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) base reimbursement partly on hospital readmission rates, but there is little guidance for providers to reduce these rates. This column describes a model of care used by Washington Heights Community Service (WHCS) in New York City. Without benefit of external funding, WHCS has implemented practices, such as family involvement at all treatment levels, community outreach, effective medication prescribing, shared electronic medical records, and proactive provider communication, that have led to lower rates of readmission in addition to low rates of admission and emergency room use and a high rate of outpatient follow-up—all particularly relevant in this era of ACA mandates.

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