Advocates of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) believe this model of patient care has the potential to reduce costs and improve health care outcomes. But health care providers who want to adopt a PCMH model of care without adopting health information technology are in for a bumpy ride. According to an issue brief published by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, health IT adoption is critical to establishing a medical home model of care.
The report, titled Medical Home 2.0: The Present, the Future, finds that health IT “is the essential front-end investment. For patients to receive appropriate care and care teams to effectively manage and monitor patient behavior, a robust HIT investment including electronic medical records, broadband transmission, personal health records, decision support and Web-based services to facilitate access are necessary.” However, the report also states that high fixed costs for information technologies, and lack of physician willingness to use health IT remain significant barriers to adoption of the PCMH model.
Despite these and other barriers, the report authors remain optimistic about the adoption and success of the medical home model of care. The good news for PCMH is that providers who can demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health record technology are well on their way to becoming medical homes.