Medical Homes - A Primary Care Model That Is Here To Stay

The ‘Medical Home’ philosophy has raked in a considerable amount of popularity in recent times especially amongst the patient community. Learn more about the philosophy behind such a healthcare model and why it is a preferred option for many.

Provision of effective primary care has always been quite a challenge in America. In the traditional delivery models where payment was based on services rendered, patients often felt frustrated. Seeking answers to issues like obesity wasn’t always a straightforward task. From getting an appointment with your primary physician to bouncing between specialists like endocrinologists and nutritionists, the road to recovery was usually littered with hurdles. Providers too weren’t immune to the pressures of such a system. Juggling between clinical and administrative work and trying to see enough number of patients per day to earn their salary were trials faced by most physicians in this line of work.

Thankfully, it now appears that the world of primary care is experiencing a metamorphosis that is going to improve the way things work. A growing emphasis on the role played by primary care in keeping people healthy by steering them away from chronic ailments has lead to the evolution of medical homes. In such a healthcare facility a team of physicians strives towards providing comprehensive care within a single premise. Services like behavioral health and nutritional counseling are available here. Instead of merely receiving payment for each time a patient comes in for an appointment, incentives are based on the results. The primary goal of such a practice is keeping patients away from emergency rooms and hospitals.

The 4 Cs that define a medical home are as follows:

  1. Comprehensive Care – A medical home’s goal is not restricted to retrospective care. It encompasses every aspect of health including, but not restricted to, social, cultural, and familial background. Preventative care is a vital part of such a model.

  2. Coordinated Care – A medical home integrates health care in such a way that the primary care physician and the patient are both at the epicenter and all clinical interventions conducted by specialists, health affiliates, and other facilities are communicated to them. Such an approach is helpful in designing and delivering a coherent action plan instead of taking a sporadic approach.

  3. Communication Of Care – An efficient communication system that utilizes the latest IT tools is mandatory when it comes to establishing a medical home. Communication lines between patients, primary care physicians, and specialists should always be open and free of disruption.

  4. Cost-Effective Care – Putting a cap on the soaring healthcare costs by employing preventive measures well in time is a focal point for Medical Homes. For instance, a myocardial infarction saved in time or a diabetic foot infection prevented will not only reduce the morbidity and mortality but also help reduce costs incurred and lower the practice’s liability.

Practices that are far-sighted enough to look beyond the short-term disadvantages or the expenditures associated with converting into a Medical Home will reap the rich dividends with time. Besides, such an accreditation brings along competitive advantage, sharpens skills, hones processes, and irons out the organizational creases too.

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