- New research published in The Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests 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.
- ACOs could make payments to patient centered medical homes as a way to help in the creation of a high-functioning primary care infrastructure, the paper says, though it also notes that requiring such payments could interfere with ACOs' efforts to develop their own strategies.
- ACOs could also help support the PCMH model by hiring primary care physicians and dedicating more resources to urgent care, as well as providing those physicians with resources such as health IT and care coordination infrastructure.
It makes sense for ACOs to financially support patient centered medical homes, given that when primary care models improve, there's evidence that they can cut ED visits and patient days by about 20% or so. But it's also worth noting that the cost of putting all these interventions in place can be high, which can be difficult given that there's not a lot of capital in the system to support this. The key is to make a business case based on the population you are serving to determine whether it's worth making big investments in PCMHs.