Everything You Need to Know About Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs)

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    Nov 13, 2012
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Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) were created to provide medical patients a unified home-base from which all healthcare needs could be addressed. As new studies suggest that Patient-Centered Medical Homes improve healthcare and reduce unnecessary costs such as those incurred in duplicate procedures, large and small healthcare providers throughout the nation are restructuring their practices as PCMHs.

A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model for medical care that seeks to enhance quality and reduce costs by unifying a patient’s needs through a central expert, their primary physician. The primary physician maintains a vested and continuous interest in the patient, monitoring, assisting, and following up on any and all medical care a patient receives.

Patient-Centered Medical Homes have been defined by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American College of Physicians (ACP) as a model of patient care that maintains the following joint principles:

1. A personal physician maintains a relationship with the patient and provides for the patient’s initial medical care.

2. The personal physician guides and directs a team of staff members, and collectively, this team is responsible for patient care. This is called Physician Directed Medical Practice.

3. The personal physician provides “whole person orientation”. This means that the personal physician is responsible for and does the work of contacting specialists and following up on his or her patient’s care in the hands of specialists, hospitals, and other care providers.

4. Care is coordinated across providers and communities via the personal physician. This means that hospitals, community programs, specialists, and even appropriate family members are continually integrated in a way that provides superior, well-informed, and sensitive care to a patient across many spectrums of services and cultural needs.

5. Quality and safety are emphasized. Evidence-based research is implemented into the provider system, giving the patient optimal and up-to-date knowledge regarding care options and answers. Physicians are held accountable for the continued care of the patient, and the patient’s feedback is welcomed, and helps to craft improvement among practices.

6. The relationship between the physician, healthcare staff, and the patient results in enhanced hours via open and personalized scheduling, as well as and new methods of contact, such as personal phone calls and emails, between patients and providers.

7. Payment is altered is such a way that it recognizes and appropriately remits a vastly different set of work-related tasks, such as management for care outside the practice, coordination of care efforts and costs, greater implementations of healthcare technology, such as that provided by e-MDs, and physician-patient contact time above and beyond standard “fee by service” practices. In addition to these elements, incentives reward physicians for savings generated by quality, coordinated care.

Healthcare professionals see the benefits and value of providing coordinated, compassionate care at the highest quality level. Because new technology makes coordinated care possible across vast groups of providers, Patient-Centered Medical Homes are developing nationwide. Learn more about how to make coordinated care work for your practice by contacting e-MDs.

e-MDs is committed to providing affordable and integrated EHR and Practice Management Software solutions, including clinical, financial and document management modules designed to automate medical practice processes and chart management – delivering the clinical tools needed to succeed in today’s health care environment.

Author's Profile

Heather Preston EHR - e-MDs ehr practice management software has consistently been ranked as the highest ehr by physicians.

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