Personal Attention in Care

More physicians are interested in patient-centered medical homes, which are better at helping patients prevent the onset of any sickness.

Patient-centered medical homes are becoming quite popular in the health care industry. Studies have shown that patients are taking better care of themselves with the personal attention the model affords. These changes are leading to better outcomes and lower costs.

A study by the Medical Group Management Association revealed that 70% of respondents were already in the process of transforming or interested in becoming a PCMH. A further 20% were already accredited or recognized as a PCMH by a national organization.

The PCMC model is led by a personal physician providing continuous and coordinated care throughout a patient's lifetime. That primary care is integrated across a health care system.

“Patient-centered medical homes are helping to better align incentives to reward practices for keeping patients healthy,” said William F. Jessee, MD, FACMPE, MGMA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “This common sense approach to care coordination and managing chronic disease can contribute to helping us achieve a more efficient, quality-focused health care system."

The majority of practices interested in becoming a PCMH were family medicine (nearly 36%), followed closely by multispecialty practices with primary and specialty care (more than 30%) and pediatrics (more than 10%).

The most common process for a PCMH practice to be engaged in are those jobs that require getting patients help from the best qualified doctor or agency, keeping other agency informed about the patient’s health and decision making with families.

While they are gaining popularity, PCMHs face their share of challenges while a practice becomes one. More than half of the respondents said that one of the key points of a PCMH is the biggest challenge: establishing care coordination agreements with referral physicians. Finances are also a big obstacle physicians face during the transformation.