“Offering patients access to a
primary-care practice where they can develop of trusting relationship with a
care provider is essential to support good health and high productivity. The
real beneficiaries are the employees who will have enhanced access to safe,
efficient care in a medical home.”
Rogers, Executive Director, Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative
Patient-Centered Medical Home: An Overview
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)
model of care has existed in the U.S. for more than 40 years, having been first
introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 1967 as a central
location for the archival of children’s medical records.
Over the past four decades, however, the
PMCH model has evolved into a model of care in which patients have a direct
relationship with a health care provider who coordinates a cooperative team of
health care professionals, takes collective responsibility for their care and
arranges for appropriate care with other qualified providers as needed. This
innovative care model is founded in the principles of health information
technology (IT) and health information exchanges (HIEs) and other means
designed to ensure that patients receive the best care possible when and where
they need it.
Today, the PCMH model of care is
considered one of the most promising strategies for the improvement of health
care quality, decreased health care costs and enhanced patient-provider
relationships in the U.S. Jointly endorsed by the AAP, American Academy of
Family Physicians (AFP), American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American
Osteopathic Association, the model continues to grow in popularity and
currently includes recognized practices in nearly every state, including
Since endorsing this model in 2008, the
Quality Forum has championed the redesign of delivery systems to support
patient-centered, coordinated care for the improvement of quality and health
What PCMH Means For Employers
According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), healthier employees are generally more
productive. They are less likely to call in sick or use vacation time due to
illness, and because good employee health has a positive impact on the
employee’s family, employees are less likely to miss work due to family
A few facts from the CDC regarding
employee health include:
· Obesity and related chronic diseases cost
employers up to $93 billion per year in health insurance claims.
· Productivity losses related to personal and
family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or
$225.8 billion annually.
· Indirect costs of poor health, including
absenteeism, disability or reduced work output may be several times higher than
direct medical costs.
Employee health benefits are vital to
attracting and retaining employees, and in turn, healthy employees equate to
higher productivity and greater success for their employers. As health
insurance premiums continue to increase, employers want to be certain that the
health coverage they offer employees is affordable and accessible and delivers
positive health outcomes.
Through the PCMH model, according to the
Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, care delivered by primary care
physicians is consistently associated with better outcomes, reduced mortality,
fewer preventable admissions for patients with chronic diseases, lower
utilization, improved patient compliance with recommended care and reduced
And because the PCMH model of care is
designed to provide patients with access to more expansive health information
and a wider range of community resources that can lead to improved health for
employees and their families, employers are becoming increasingly involved in
PCMH program implementation through worksite clinics and other mechanisms.
Employers that support the PCMH model of
care can serve as a bridge between patients and their primary care physicians.
A significant opportunity exists for employers to help improve the quality and
effectiveness of patient care, and thus to increase employee productivity and
efficiency, through the PCMH model.