Patient-centered care can improve costs and quality, industry panelists say at health summit

It requires an investment in time, money and a lot of work behind the scenes, but industry officials said they’re optimistic that a more coordinated approach to primary care can both cut costs in the long run and lead to healthier outcomes for patients.

Under what’s called a “patient-centered medical home” model, as described at a summit for health industry professionals earlier this week, the payment structure focuses more on quality of care than on quantity of treatments given to patients. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Hampshire, which hosted the summit, started experimenting with this kind of model several years ago and operates its own Enhanced Personal Health Care Program.

Robert Noonan, Anthem’s regional vice president for provider solutions, said this system “pays primary care providers for how well they do, not how much they do.” It supplements a traditional fee-for-service payment to participating primary care practices with an additional reimbursement that accounts for “clinical interventions that occur outside of the visit.” This might mean, for example, following up with patients to make sure they understand the instructions for taking certain prescriptions, Noonan said.

Go to top