Patient-Centered Medical Home Keeps Spending Low, Quality High

The patient-centered medical home is still making waves as one of the most effective ways to cut costs and reduce unnecessary utilization.

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) continues to show staying power as one of the healthcare industry’s most effective cost-cutting and quality-boosting initiatives, says the latest annual reportfrom the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC).

The comprehensive review of thirty industry studies, reports, and evaluations of existing patient-centered medical home programs shows that the majority of programs can reduce spending in one or more categories, decrease improper utilization of services, and prepare providers for a smoother transition into value-based reimbursement models and accountable care.

“The latest research demonstrates that the PCMH – or comprehensive primary care – can control costs and promote the right care,” said Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, CEO of the PCPCC and lead author of the report.

“The medical homes that have been around the longest showed the most improvement. And those that participated in multi-payer collaboratives – where payers and providers align payment models and performance measures – showed the most impressive costs and utilization outcomes.”

“These are important lessons as we implement federal payment reform: investments take time, sufficient resources, and collaboration to pay off,” Nielsen added.

Time, resources, and a collaborative spirit aren’t always in abundant supply at primary care providers, however, and other recent research on the viability of the patient-centered medical home are significantly less optimistic.

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