At first, it was a trickle of pioneer practices across the country that signed up to become Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH). Today, the PCMH model has grown and proven itself by delivering better outcomes at a lower cost. The best outcome of all? Patients are happy with access to the team-oriented care that focuses on helping them get well and stay that way.
For practices, particularly smaller ones, it was a big leap of faith to embrace the PCMH model. The change led to more documentation, more patient education and risk management, and often a need to hire more mid-level practitioners. The consequence was a monetary investment whose reward seemed far in the future. Let’s not even mention the investment in new EHR technology and the training required to make it work effectively.
Once over the learning hump, primary care practices began to notice that they were re-aligning themselves with the core aim of primary care; that is, creating sustainable health in their patients. There’s good news on the reimbursement side as well, since insurance plans are paying slightly more per member to PCMHs. Beginning in 2018, (not so far away) Medicare will implement a 5% bonus to PCMHs.
Each practice must decide if the PCMH structure will help clinicians and patients reach their goals of high-quality care and a fair, rewarding payment system. There is always more than one path to running a successful practice. InnovaHealth Innovations is a consultancy founded to help practices function better in today’s ever-changing health care environment. To speak with IHI Founder, Roberta R. Kaplan, MPH, MS, PA, call: 503-341-0593.