Use of a patient-centered medical home model to care for those with chronic illness reduced costs and trimmed utilization for high-risk patients, according to a three-year study published today in The American Journal of Managed Care.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 24, 2014
AJMC Study: Patient-Centered Medical Homes Cut Costs in Care of Chronically Ill
PLAINSBORO, N.J. Use of a patient-centered medical home model to care for those with chronic illness reduced costs and trimmed utilization for high-risk patients, according to a three-year study published today in The American Journal of Managed Care.
The study involved 700 patients of Independence Blue Cross of Pennsylvania, most of whom had multiple chronic illnesses such as congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and asthma. Patients with these illnesses typically experience a disproportionately high number of hospital stays and use more health care services.
These patients were treated in primary care practices that converted to a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, which is defined by the National Center for Quality Assurance as “a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into what patients want it to be."
The Independence Blue Cross patients enrolled in the PCMH model had fewer hospital admissions than the matched control patients not treated in medical homes: 10.8 percent fewer in 2009, 8.6 percent fewer in 2010, and 16.6 percent fewer in 2011. In addition, in 2009 and 2010, there was a savings in total medical costs of 11.2 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, for the PCMH high-risk group.
The Affordable Care Act calls for migration away from a fee-for-service model and increased use of “patient-centered” delivery systems to promote better quality health care while lowering the nation’s health care costs. Greater coordination of care among the patients who use the most services is considered an essential part of achieving those goals.
For the full study, click here.
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