Patient-centered "medical homes" to Increase in 2015

Many doctors' offices across the country have a resolution for the New Year: switching to a team-based model of care called the patient-centered medical home, reports the January 2015 Harvard Health Letter.

"It's the highest and best version of primary care, specifically designed to take care of people's preventive needs as well as complex chronic conditions," says Susan Edgman-Levitan, executive director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

The patient-centered medical home model turns a doctor's practice into a physician-led team that helps patients meet their health goals by getting to know them, developing long-term treatment plans for them, focusing on prevention, educating them about how to reach their goals, and coordinating care with other specialists if necessary. The team must be available, at least by telephone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Several national accreditation programs hold the team accountable to these high standards.

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