Medical Homes Reduce Healthcare Costs, Utilization, and Improve Health: Study

Patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) are having a significant impact on reducing costs of care, unnecessary emergency department (ED) and hospital visits, as well as increasing the provision of preventive services and improving population health, according to a new analysis from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC).

Researchers found that approximately 60 percent of the PCMH evaluations reported decreases in cost of care or use of unnecessary or avoidable services, while approximately 30 percent reported improvements in population health.

The report, titled The Patient-Centered Medical Home’s Impact on Cost & Quality: An Annual Update of the Evidence, 2012-2013, analyzed quantitative outcomes across 20 medical home evaluations from August 2012 to 2013, including 13 peer-review and seven industry-generated evaluations.

The report provides results from health plans, integrated health systems, academic medical centers, multi-payor initiatives, the U.S. military, and the Veterans Administration. The Colorado Multi-Payer PCMH Pilot reported 15 percent fewer ED visits, 18 percent fewer inpatient admissions, improvements across all measures of diabetes care, and high levels of patient satisfaction. In addition, the Military Health System PCMH Initiative reported reductions in costs, emergency department (ED), and hospital visits, and improvements in population health, prevention, access, and patient satisfaction.

The report includes specific findings from each of the initiatives across eight measures, including: cost reductions, fewer ED visits, fewer inpatient admissions, fewer readmissions, improvements in population health, improvements in access to care, increases in preventive services, and improvements in patient satisfaction.

The researchers stress that that as private and public sector support for the PCMH continues to build, the healthcare sector should continue to recognize the foundational role of the PCMH in ACOs and the emerging medical neighborhood model.

The report also points out that significant payment reforms are incorporating the PCMH and its key attributes, and that recent congressional activity to repeal the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) will result in a major step toward moving the U.S. healthcare system away from a fee-for-service (FFS) model, to one that rewards quality, efficiency, and innovation.

Source: PCPCC, January 13, 2014

Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Metrics, Models and Engagement

Guide to the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Metrics, Models and Engagement provides an overview of PCMH adoption and results and examines nuances of the model that have emerged in recent years — including the embedding of case managers on medical home teams.

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