Patient-Centered Medical Homes Cut Care Costs

Findings based on analysis of 20 recently published peer-reviewed studies

FRIDAY, Feb. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care practices that embrace the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model reduce the cost of care and the number of patients treated inappropriately in the emergency department, according to an article published Jan. 15 in Medical Economics.

The author of the article writes that the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) analyzed 20 of the most recent peer-reviewed studies on medical homes in preparing its new report, The Patient-Centered Medical Home's Impact on Cost and Quality: An Annual Update of the Evidence, 2012-2013.

According to the article, the studies show that the PCMH may be effective in reducing the cost of care and the number of unnecessary visits patients make to the emergency department, both of which decreased by about 60 percent. Population health indicators improved by about 30 percent, as did preventive health services, such as screenings and immunizations. Greater access to primary care physicians was also reported by 30 percent.

"The research here suggests that when fully transformed primary care practices embrace this model of care, we can expect a number of consistent, positive outcomes across a number of clinical and financial measures," said Marci Nielsen, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief executive officer of the PCPCC, according to the Medical Economics article.

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