A lot of people look at a specialist as a technician… I believe that technology has taken us away from the patient’s story. And once you remove yourself from the patient’s story you no longer are truly a doctor. -Myron Falchuk, MD, in How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD
Explore this issue:March 2008
If primary care physicians are to be believed, home is where the patient is-the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PC-MH), that is. The combined 333,000 members of the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and American Osteopathic Association (AOA) have closed ranks behind the medical home-a practice-based model anchored on a personal physician providing and coordinating health care for his or her pediatric or adult patients. PC-MH proponents argue that medicine’s dwindling cadre of generalists is reimbursed inadequately-or not at all-for coordination and tracking of care, adding that pay-for-performance schemes won’t help because they boost revenue incrementally rather than changing a fundamentally flawed reimbursement system. The PC-MH is designed to address all that.
PC-MH’s core assumption is that primary care physicians (PCPs) coordinating care across settings will improve health outcomes and lower costs. The concept being promoted currently puts tools including care coordination, care management, health information technology, patient education, and access to 24/7 coverage into PCPs’ hands (see sidebar, Practice Readiness for the Medical Home).