Transforming Health Care Delivery with Medical Homes

eAlert 3f74b44e-575c-4ea5-8454-59d6214846fb

<p>Overhauling our fragmented health care delivery system will be critical to the success of any national health reform initiative. A new delivery system must be built on a solid foundation of primary care, and the medical home—with its emphasis on the relationship between patient and clinician—should be its cornerstone.</p>
<p>In a <a href="/publications/publication/2009/mar/can-patient-centered-medical-homes-transform-health-care-delivery">new essay</a>, Melinda K. Abrams, Karen Davis, and Christine Haran of The Commonwealth Fund make the case for the medical home approach to primary care and describe how health care providers, researchers, and others are developing metrics for identifying and monitoring medical homes. Ongoing Fund-supported demonstration and evaluation projects—including a new initiative to transform safety-net clinics into patient-centered medical homes—will generate more information about the value of medical homes and the process of becoming one. </p>
<p>"Creating medical homes throughout the country will clearly require a significant restructuring of our existing health care delivery 'system,'" the authors say. "Whereas most doctors’ offices and hospitals are currently isolated from each other—electronically and otherwise—providing patients with around-the-clock access to coordinated care will require that providers are linked and working together."</p>
<p>The authors also discuss the federal support that physician practices will need to reorganize themselves and deploy information technology, new payment approaches to ensure that practices are adequately reimbursed, and the other policy goals—including affordable coverage for all—that must be pursued simultaneously.</p>