The medical home model of care delivery — which blends health IT and care coordination to encourage a more efficient and patient-centric approach to care — has been gaining steady traction with health care providers and payers eager for an alternative to the traditional fee-for-service model.
Last year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield established a medical home pilot program in Oklahoma and designated over 1,800 primary care physicians in Michigan as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) created a PCMH resource center to house research on primary care and medical home models.
And now, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) has released the results of a study that shows 67.8% of practices are either established as PCMHs or are interested in moving towards a medical home model. When asked about PCMH status, study participants reported:
- 21.4% are accredited or recognized as PCMH
- 26.7% are transforming to PCMH
- 41.1% are interested in moving to PCMH
Health IT considerations ranked among the top challenges and top processes integral to care delivery within the medical home model. Modifying or adopting an electronic health record (EHR) system to support PCMH-related functions was listed as fourth in the list of top 5 challenges by survey respondents. Exchanging clinical information electronically with pharmacies and maintaining chronic disease registries were listed among the top 5 common processes reported.
Practices can seek PCMH accreditation from several sources, including the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the Joint Commission. The vast majority of study respondents reported that they would prefer one set of standards to qualify as a PCMH, noting that “Competing standards make things difficult for medical practices to implement.”
The full report can be downloaded for free from the MGMA website.