How Patient Centered Medical Home (PCHM) Will Help?
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is based upon the idea that primary care is the foundation of good patient care. Many studies have successfully made the case for strengthening primary care practices in the U.S. However, the shift toward specialty practices for physicians has hindered the re-establishment of the primary care practice in the US. The success of the patient-centered medical home will usher in a new era of primary care with an emphasis on coordinated and efficient care for the whole person across his or her entire spectrum of healthcare needs. Stange, et al, in Defining and Measuring the Patient-Centered Medical Home, defined the Patient-Centered Medical Home as:
“…a team of people embedded in the community who seek to improve the health and healing of the people in that community. They work to optimize the fundamental attributes of primary care combined with evolving new ideas about organizing and developing practice and changing the larger health care and reimbursement systems…, the PCMH aims to personalize, prioritize and integrate care to improve the health of whole people, families, communities and populations. The patient-centered medical home(PCMH) is four things: 1) the fundamental tenets of primary care: first contact access, comprehensiveness, integration/coordination, and relationships involving sustained partnership; 2) new ways of organizing practice; 3) development of practices’ internal capabilities, and 4) related health care system and reimbursement changes.” (Stange, Nutting et al. 2010)
The fundamental tenets of primary care are at the heart of the Patient-Centered Medical Home. These tenets drive the current interest in returning primary care to its former central role in the provision of healthcare, providing comprehensive care for patients, driving efficiencies in the care process, re-capturing interest in pursuing primary care as a profession, and diminishing the cost burden of healthcare through reimbursement reform and preventative medicine. The goal of the PCMH is to address all these issues and more.
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