Patient Centered Medical Home

Why Choose a Primary Care Physician?

Experts estimate that over 100,000 lives could be saved each year in the United States if patients focused more on the importance of prevention. Having an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician (PCP) who you see on a regular basis, especially when you’re feeling well, is one of the best ways to ensure long-term good health. Why? Because your physician can help you identify potential health concerns early, before they become a serious problem, thus giving you the necessary tools to address those issues. This is known as “preventive medicine.”

What is a Patient Centered Medical Home?

The medical home is best described as a model or philosophy of primary care that is patient-centered, comprehensive, team-based, coordinated, accessible, and focused on quality and safety. It has become a widely accepted model for how primary care should be organized and delivered throughout the health care system.

While the term ‘home’ can often leave room for misinterpretation or confusion, we often emphasize that the “medical home” is not a place, but a philosophy of health and health care that encourages us to meet patients where they are, from the most simple to the most complex conditions. It is a place that should “feel like home” – where you are treated with respect, dignity, and compassion, and you have a strong and trusting relationship with providers and staff. It calls for a team care model that promotes accessibility, compassion, transparency, and is built on trust and communication. Its success is enhanced by health information technology and incentivized by smarter ways to pay for care.

Above all: the medical home is not a final destination. It is a framework for achieving primary care excellence so that care is received in the right place, at the right time, and the manner that best suits a patient’s needs.

Features of the Medical Home

The medical home is an approach to the delivery of primary care that is:

  • Patient-centered: A partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families ensures that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences, and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.
  • Comprehensive: A team of care providers is wholly accountable for a patient’s physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.
  • Coordinated: Care is organized across all elements of the broader health care system, including specialty care, hospitals, home health care, community services and supports.
  • Accessible: Patients are able to access services with shorter waiting times, “after hours” care, 24/7 electronic or telephone access and strong communication through health IT innovations.
  • Committed to quality and safety: Clinicians and staff enhance quality improvement through the use of health IT and other tools to ensure that patients and families make informed decisions about their health.