The drive for reduced costs and increased quality in the delivery of healthcare is an almost universally held goal among those in the industry. However, there seems to be little consensus and much confusion over the best model for achieving these improvements. One model believed by some to be able to address both of these concerns is the patient-centered medical home model. This model which seeks to establish primary care providers as a patient’s “medical home” with the goal of improving the delivery and management of care while at the same time reducing costs. However, according to the results of a study published this week in the Journal of American Medical Association, it would appear, at least initially, that the medical home model may not be a panacea.
The study which looked at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative, an early medical home pilot, found that while participating medical practices showed a statistically significant improvement in quality with regard to certain specific disease, they did not show any statistically significant improvement in either utilization or costs. Of course, ne study of one pilot project does not signal the end of the medical home. But, the study at least suggests that the model as originally conceived still needs work.