Certified Medical Homes Tied to Better Diabetes Outcomes

Certified practices have more practice systems, modestly higher performance on measures of quality diabetes care

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care practices certified as medical homes have more practice systems and higher performance on diabetes care versus uncertified practices, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Leif I. Solberg, M.D., from HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, and colleagues compared diabetes outcomes for 416 adult primary care practices either certified or uncertified as medical homes in 2017. The presence of medical home practice systems for diabetes care and six standardized measures of diabetes care were assessed.

The researchers found that uncertified practices (39 percent) were more likely than certified practices to be rural, but patient populations between the two groups were similar. Medical home practice systems were more common in certified practices (79.2 versus 74.9 percent). Certified practices were more likely to meet a composite measure of optimal diabetes care (46.8 versus 43.2 percent). A 1-standard deviation increase in the presence of practice systems was associated with a 1.4 percent higher probability of meeting that measure.

"In conclusion, we have shown some differences in characteristics and practice systems, and in performance measures of diabetes care between practices that are certified as medical homes and those that are not," the authors write. "There also appears to be an association between systems and performance, so practices wanting to improve their care and performance measures should improve the number and function of practice systems, regardless of certification status."

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