Updates from the National Medical Home Summit

The Sixth National Medical Home Summit is being held in Philadelphia from March 17-19. The Summit is co-hosted by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), and brings together the leading authorities and practitioners in the medical home field to discuss how it is working, where it has proven outcomes, what lessons have been learned, where it needs improvement, and what issues and challenges lie ahead. There are a few take-aways so far from the Summit:

  • PCMH is a strategy for population health management being utilized by primary care practices, specialty practices, and health systems.
  • The medical home model is about more than recognition (NCQA PCMH or otherwise) – rather it is about sustained practice transformation.
  • To be a true PCMH, the practice must engage with its “neighbors” in a Patient Centered Medical Neighborhood.
  • To be successful, PCMH practices must engage patients in their care and employ strategies for behavior change.
  • Ask the question “Is PCMH helpful?,” rather than “Is PCMH perfect, ” when evaluating the model.
  • To effectively speak about whether there are cost savings with the PCMH model, the practice/system should be utilizing cost incentives.
  • PCMH collaborations are going on all around the country, many involving ACOs, shared information systems, enhanced payment structures, involvement of health systems and specialists, and safety net organizations.
  • Practices pursuing PCMH development should consider behavioral health integration models backed by a sound strategy and purpose for integration. This may include a behavioral health consultant, psychiatrist, or social worker.
  • Safety net organizations often serve those populations who are most vulnerable and who are affected by multiple conditions. The PCMH model is particularly effective and important for these populations. Thus, despite the challenges encountered in safety net organizations, there are many applications of the PCMH model in these organizations across the country.
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