TALKING HEALTH, CUNY TV’s periodic series dedicated to health care issues and innovation, examines a cost-efficient team approach to health care in "Patient-Centered Medical Homes," premiering Tuesday, July 31 (2012), at 8 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m., and rebroadcasting Saturday, August 4, at 5:30 p.m.
CUNY TV, the City University of New York television station, is cablecast in New York City’s five boroughs on Ch. 75 (Time Warner and Cablevision), Ch. 77 (RCN), and Ch. 30 (Verizon FiOS). After its premiere on CUNY TV, the program will be available for viewing online at www.cuny.tv and www.commonwealthfund.org.
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model shows significant promise in addressing some of the challenges to the delivery of primary care in America. Supported under the Affordable Care Act, PCMH provides more coordinated and efficient care, which actively benefits: patients, particularly in low-income brackets but extending to all income levels; physicians, via higher morale, less turnover and less burnout; and all payers or insurers (government as well as commercial), through cost savings.
Joining host Mike Gilliam to discuss the success of PCMHs are Dr. A. John Blair III, President of Taconic IPA (Independent Practice Association), a nearly 4,000-member physician group (80 percent of all providers in the region) transforming health care delivery in New York’s Hudson Valley, and Melinda K. Abrams, Vice President of the Patient–Centered Coordinated Care Program at The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation.
TALKING HEALTH goes on location to profile Urban Health Plan, a PCMH in the South Bronx. Named one of the top 20 community health centers in the country, it currently has over 300,000 patient visits annually, a number anticipated to rise to over 500,000 in the next few years.
Urban Health Plan provides continuous and coordinated care, with a patient’s primary care physician leading a team of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, health educators and case managers, all familiar with patients and their families.
In a studio discussion, Blair and Abrams talk about how round-the-clock accessibility for patients cuts down on unnecessary and costly emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and readmissions. For physicians, transformation to the new model from private practices can take time (up to one to two years) and is complex, but Blair reports that physicians are much happier under the new system.
For his part, Blair believes that “the Feds are doing a really good job” in preparing for a future of healthier people, reinvigorated caregivers, and—once the foundation for PCMH is firmly established—leaner costs to government.