What is a Medical Home?
A “Medical Home” (also referred to as Patient Centered Medical Home or a Primary Care Medical Home) is essentially a “one stop shop” supported by a team-based model of care, allowing you to develop a long-term personal relationship with each of your patients. In this manner, the idea is for your patients to consider you the first place they turn when they need care. You coordinate all of their ongoing preventive, acute and chronic care using the best available evidence and technology, working inworking in partnership with them to ensure they understand the importance of caring for themselves.
The focus is on outcomes, the wellness of your patients, rather than on how many patients you see each day.
Who is becoming a Medical Home?
Mainly primary care providers, but specialists have shown some interest as well, especially those that tend to become a primary provider; for example, oncologists and or endocrinologists who may spend more time with a patient managing a long-term illness. The Medical Home model was introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1967. Today, the concept has been advocated by most major health plans, most state Medicaid programs, many health systems, tens of thousands of small and large clinical practices, federal and state agencies, and hundreds of safety net clinics. Why? It’s simple. Better health outcomes and lower overall healthcare system costs due to proactive, in-depth care team interactions with those patients who require it. Sound too simple to be true? Give us a call so we can talk about it.
- You can focus on and improve quality of care (not quantity) which increases your satisfaction
- You have improved access to patient information through electronic health record systems, secure messaging with other providers, access to registries, and health information exchanges
- Your practice resources are used more efficiently resulting in higher staff satisfaction and cost savings.
- You may have more opportunities to participate in incentive or value-based reimbursement programs which benefit your bottom line
- You are positioned for success and become more attractive to patients, ACOs, health plans, and health systems.
What are the benefits to providers?
- Patients are happier, more engaged, and more satisfied
- Care is better coordinated, more comprehensive, and highly personalized
- Communication is improved through the use of technology and family engagement, when appropriate
- Patients will learn to access the right care at the right time in the right place therefore lessening your burden as a practice
- Health outcomes will improve
What are the benefits to patients?
How can you become a Medical Home?
The first step in becoming a medical home is to learn more about what’s involved and assess your practice readiness to do so. The next step would be to decide what model best fits your needs. Then you can work to attain “recognition” as a Medical Home through an accrediting organization such as NCQA, AAAHC or Joint Commission. If you have an electronic health records system and are pursuing Meaningful Use, awesome! You’re already part of the way there. AHIT can help.
We’ve helped hundreds of providers achieve Medical Home recognition and can help you too!