Date of Completion

5-21-2014

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Edward Miller

Abstract

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aims to place public health and prevention practice closer to the clinical care delivery system by mandating basic preventive services and creating a national prevention plan. The Massachusetts health care system has a number of elements that can help foster closer linking of public health practices in the primary care setting. This research set out to examine whether the current healthcare system in Massachusetts will enable public health and primary care integration as intimated upon by the Affordable Care Act. This study will assess the current connection between public health and primary care practice in Massachusetts and identify factors affecting further linkages with the aim of predicting the degree to which the Affordable Care Act will serve to better connect public health and primary care. Data for this study originate from expert interviews from health care institutions and organizations. Interviews questions focused on assembling findings related to the role of ACA in integration, how close Massachusetts is to integration, those characteristic enabling or inhibiting integration, and policy changes that need to happen to further foster integration.