- A new report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative reveals that patient-centered medical homes can reduce healthcare costs as well as curb overuse of the emergency department and overall inpatient hospitalizations.
- The report's findings are drawn from 28 publications, including scholarly journals, state government reports and industry reports. Six of 10 scholarly publications the Collaborative reviewed found that the use of PCMHs reduced healthcare costs, and 12 out of 13 reported "improvements in utilization," such as reduced ED visits.
- "The evaluations of the PCMH described in the report underscore the growing evidence base that ties the medical home model of care to reductions in health care costs and improvements in quality," Christopher Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, which funded the report, said in a statement.
The idea of PCMHs used to be met with a lot of skepticism on the part of providers, so the report's findings are significant. They're also timely, considering the government's ambitious plan to having half of all Medicare spending—outside of managed care—to be paid under a value-based contract system with incentives aimed at managing quality and costs.
However, Koller did point out that PCMH programs need more support in order to grow. Research published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine in May suggested that accountable care organizations should make payments to patient centered medical homes or otherwise support them financially, since their goals are both aimed at transforming the medical system.
"In order for the PCMH to be sustainable, we need greater investment in primary care and less reliance on the fee-for-service payment system," he said.