Higher Medical Home Costs Underscore Need for Higher Reimbursement

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<p>With evidence showing that patient-centered medical homes improve access to high-quality primary care, many health care leaders are calling for wider adoption of this promising care delivery model. But a <a href="/publications/journal-article/2012/jun/association-between-patient-centered-medical-home-rating-and">new study</a> published online by the Journal <em>of the American Medical Association</em> finds that for that to occur, medical homes will need to be reimbursed for the greater costs they incur in providing an array of enhanced patient services, from care coordination services to 24/7 access to a clinician. </p><p>Conducted with Commonwealth Fund support, the study of federally funded health centers found that those that have a greater number of attributes associated with the medical home model also have higher operating costs. The researchers, led by Robert S. Nocon, M.H.S., and Marshall Chin, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Chicago, say that medical homes incur higher per-patient operating costs because of their spending on additional personnel, electronic medical records, and quality improvement measures. To ensure the model can be sustained, the authors argue that appropriate financial incentives are needed. </p>