The case for a National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education
On 10 September 2012 United States Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, announced the selection of a National Coordinating Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Her announcement confirmed that the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center would lead the center in partnership with other educational and health care delivery sites around the country. The center would receive $4 million over five years from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to advance a national healthcare workforce trained to work in patient-centered, team-based settings.
The Affordable Care Act (PPACA, 2010) has provided the opportunity and impetus to realign payment systems that will support patient-centered, team-based care. With the evolution of innovative models such as Accountable Care Organizations, medical homes and improved care transitions, health care professionals will need to re-imagine and reconstruct their roles to work within these new systems of care and health provision. These changes call for a new model of interprofessional practice and education.
In this editorial we summarize prior efforts to promote interprofessional education and collaborative practice. We highlight the need to align evolving clinical delivery systems with interprofessional education efforts and the central role of the new National Center in supporting these changes
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