Choosing a Business Model: Patient-Centered Medical Homes

Editor's Note: 
From young physicians considering their first practice model to experienced doctors contemplating a change, the advantages and disadvantages of a new situation can be overwhelming. For this second installment in a series examining various business models for physicians, we asked Dr Michael L. Munger, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians, to give us his perspective on the ins and outs of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH).

Medscape: Could you describe the basics of a PCMH?

Dr Munger: A PCMH is a model of care that aims to transform the delivery of comprehensive primary care. The characteristics of a PCMH include patient-focused, team-based care delivery; care coordination; enhanced access for patients; use of health information technology; robust chronic disease management; and a focus on population health.

In team-based care delivery, each member of the team has an active role in caring for the patient and the population. All members will work to the top level of their training and licensure. This shifts the model away from episodic, physician-centric, fragmented care to a model of proactively managing populations through evidence-based medicine and coordinated care among the specialists within the medical neighborhood. The patient-centered aspect also includes care plans in which the patient actively participates in development.

The hours worked are similar to those of a traditional practice—approximately 50 hours per week. The salary range varies depending on the value-based contracts available in each market.

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