Joining the RI Primary Care Behavioral Health Network

Dear Behavioral Health Colleague,

We want to share with you the opportunity to join in a behavioral health network a group of us have formed with a large group of primary care physicians located throughout Rhode Island.

Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation (RIPCPC) is an independent practice association (IPA) of primary care physicians in Rhode Island, representing over 140 physicians from Family Practice, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics.  Formed in 1994, RIPCPC’s physicians care for approximately 300,000 patients through Rhode Island, about a third of the state’s population.  RIPCPC also has over 200 specialty care physician members.  This IPA was formed to provide a venue for smaller independent practices to work together with the goal of improving cost-effective, high quality care for patients, preserving community-based physician practices, ensuring fair compensation, and helping physicians maintain control over the treatment of their patients.  RIPCPC contracts with insurers to provide patient management fees and quality performance bonuses, practice enhancements, and have helped their members increase their revenues by 15%.

We are inviting you, our behavioral health colleagues, to join us as affiliate members of this powerful and successful provider organization.  The cost to you is $60 per individual practitioner per year or $300 per group practice. The cost for state licensed facilities to join as a facility is $300.

RIPCPC behavioral health membership will implement clinical standards for behavioral health members’ acceptance of referrals.  We are working to develop standards and procedures for coordinating care with primary care providers that promote seamless access to behavioral health care and foster a positive partnership with this large network of physicians.  Our participation within the structure of RIPCPC will allow us to be involved more directly in negotiations with payers that has not been possible through our professional organizations or through our individual efforts.  We expect that membership will increase referral streams.  We will use DIRECT Mail to securely communicate with network physicians.  This will improve access to effective behavioral health care for primary care patients and facilitate referrals and coordination of care for primary care providers.

Among the many benefits of membership is a 10% discount on a DIRECT email account.  DIRECT email is the nationally accepted standard of secure email communication and will be a key means for communication between behavioral health providers and PCPs in RIPCPC.  In addition to the discount you will also have the availability of fellow members and colleagues who have successfully implemented DIRECT email to assist you in your transition and implementation process.

Many of your colleagues have already signed on to be behavioral health participants in RIPCPC.  We hope that you will consider joining this effort.  As we grow in size, we anticipate our ability to also develop significant influence in negotiations with payers, along with improving the quality of care for all of our patients.  This partnership is unique not only to Rhode Island, but also in the country and represents our best efforts to access equal participation at the table in the future of health care.

If you are interested in joining us as an individual member, please complete an application , an Affiliate Collaboration Questionnaire, and a Membership Agreement. The fee for membership is $60 per member with a maximum of $300 for individual’s joining from the same group practice. The forms may be down loaded here:

If you represent a state licensed facility that provides behavioral healthcare services, please uses these forms. The fee for facilities is $300 per year.

If you have questions about participating in the network, please call (401) 654-4000.


Peter Oppenheimer, PHD, RIPCPC Behavioral Health Network Chair

Al Puerini, MD, RIPCPC Chair