The Benefits of Becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model aims to do exactly what the name suggests—take a comprehensive and personal approach to healthcare and place the patients’ health at the center of a practice’s work. More specifically, the PCMH model works to improve patients’ experience of care, enhance the health of the larger community, and reduce per capita costs of healthcare.
According to a 2012 study conducted by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), research suggests that the model is seeing success: “The medical home model reduces overall costs and spending by reducing inpatient visits, emergency department use, hospital readmissions, and other factors.”
For physicians who feel unsure about transitioning to a PCMH model, there are a number of benefits to consider—both for your patients and for your practice:
1. A Greater Sense of Teamwork
The PCMH model requires your entire practice to work as a team to provide complete care to patients. While this may mean hiring additional personnel, such as nurse practitioners or medical assistants, it could also be as simple as redefining the roles of your existing team.
And with your practice’s commitment to providing greater access to quality healthcare, your patients won’t be the only ones who reap the rewards. Your practice as a whole will benefit from a more organized and cooperative team-based work Turha kehua tassa enempaa: kokeile itse Thunderstruckia suomenkielisessa SpinPalacessa niin naet, millaisia netin peliautomaatit ovat parhaimmillaan. environment, fewer office visits overall but longer visits with each patient, and stronger internal communication.
2. A Focus on Improved Patient Care
Preventative care and a team-based approach means your patients will spend less time in the hospital or your office, and less money on treatments and medications. Through this comprehensive healthcare approach and a new focus on care coordination, you can address your patients’ total health and well-being, rather than handling their care episodically.
But the PCMH model is more than just a change in workflow. It’s a new mindset—a shift toward building personal relationships with patients. And since most physicians report that they were first attracted to the profession because they want to help people, being allowed to provide high-quality, personalized healthcare should give physicians a greater sense of joy and fulfillment in their work as well.
3. Increased Reimbursements
Both private and public payers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), are introducing incentives for becoming a PCMH. In order to receive the incentives, practices must meet performance metrics tied to preventative services, management of chronic conditions, and patient communication and education, among other measures. These payments acknowledge the cost savings that stem from quality patient care and care coordination—including fewer hospital admissions and emergency room visits, as well as fewer errors and duplications in medications, tests, and referrals.
Of course, these benefits are just one side of the equation. Due to a lack of data, it’s not yet clear how becoming a PCMH will affect independent practices financially. According to recent estimates, the cost of becoming a PCMH could be as high as $100,000 per physician, mostly due to technology and staffing expenses. And questions about whether or not that investment will pay off in the long run remain.
Groups such as the PCPCC are examining how physicians could restructure their in order to get reimbursed for meeting quality-of-care goals and for care coordination that occurs outside of in-person visits, which could help offset some of those initial and ongoing costs.