Medical Homes Reduce Disparities in Health Care

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<p>A "medical home" is more than just a regular place to receive health care; it is a place where patients develop relationships with their providers and work with them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and coordinate preventive and other ongoing health services.<br><br>According to the new Commonwealth Fund report, <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=28929&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D506814%26%23doc506814">Closing the Divide: How Medical Homes Promote Equity in Health Care</a>, when adults have both health insurance coverage and a medical home, racial and ethnic disparities in access and quality tend to disappear. The analysis--based on a Fund survey of more than 2,830 adults nationwide--reveals that linking minority patients to a medical home can help them better manage chronic conditions and obtain critical preventive care.<br><br>The authors include the Fund's Anne C. Beal, M.D., M.P.H., Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D., Susan E. Hernandez, Katherine K. Shea, and Karen Davis, Ph.D.<br><br>"Insurance coverage helps people gain access to health care, but the next thing you have to ask is, 'Access to what?'" says Dr. Beal, the senior program officer for the Fund's Program on Quality of Care for Underserved Populations. "This survey shows if you can provide both insurance and access to a true medical home, racial and ethnic differences in getting needed medical care are often eliminated."</p>