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Developing a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda for the Patient-Centered Medical Home: A Focus on Outcomes

"Multi-stakeholder involvement will be essential in developing a long-term policy-relevant research agenda" for measuring outcomes of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of primary care, conclude Commonwealth Fund–supported researchers writing in a special supplement to the Journal of General Internal Medicine. With the patient-centered medical home starting to gain a strong foothold in U.S. primary care, and with pilot demonstration projects under way across the United States, sponsored by Medicare, Medicaid, major health plans, and multipayer coalitions, the authors provide an overview of potential measures of PCMH impact, identify measurement challenges, and recommend areas for further study. As a framework for their study, the researchers chose the Institute of Medicine's six specific aims for 21st-century health care: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. "Although the PCMH should not be expected to solve every problem in the health care system, developing a research agenda for measuring outcomes of delivery system innovations such as the PCMH should be considered in the context of the larger effort to improve the US health care system, with the ultimate goal to improve population health," the authors write.

This research was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.

Publication Details



D. R. Rittenhouse, D. H. Thom, and J. A. Schmittdiel, "Developing a Policy-Relevant Research Agenda for the Patient-Centered Medical Home: A Focus on Outcomes," Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010 25(6):593–600.