RAND: Patient-Centered Medical Home May Cost $147K Per Year

Patient-centered medical home (PCMH) transformation may be a prohibitively costly proposition for some smaller and independent practices, a new report suggests.

Are the potential savings and patient care benefits of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) worth the costs? 

RAND Corporation is weighing in on the eternal debate over the benefits and drawbacks of implementing the innovative care framework with a new report that may spell not-so-great news for some smaller providers tight on liquid assets.


The patient-centered medical home has become a popular way to implement standardized population health management programs that often lead to measurable quality and patient access improvements. 

Based on a combination of EHR adoption, big data analytics techniques, care coordination strategies, and an emphasis on preventative care, the PCMH has helped many organizations produce measurable reductions in key quality measurement areas such as emergency department visits, preventable hospital readmissions, and chronic disease management.

Advocates of the PCMH, which include CMS and the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), have promoted the framework as a potential cost-cutting measure, too. 

The PCMH helped to control spending in more than 60 percent of industry reports, PCPCC said in February of 2015, while 85 percent of studies found that the framework helped to decrease unnecessary utilization of expensive care options.

The PCMH figures prominently in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which aims to accelerate the nation’s shift to pay-for-performance reimbursement and financial bonuses based on quality achievements using the PCMH as one of the most promising foundations for systemic improvements.

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