Despite Mixed Evidence, Providers Increasingly Look to Medical Homes for Better Care, Cost Savings

Many healthcare providers and payers are moving forward with patient-centered medical homes to improve primary care and care coordination and reduce costs, despite mixed research evidence of the cost-effectiveness of this major delivery system reform.

Many healthcare providers and payers are moving forward with patient-centered medical homes to improve primary care and care coordination and reduce costs, despite mixed research evidence of the cost-effectiveness of this major delivery system reform. They believe this population-based approach is a better way to deliver care but acknowledge that many financial, logistical and cultural challenges lie ahead.

In Michigan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield has enlisted 3,770 physicians in 1,243 primary-care practices as medical home providers with another 1,000 practices on their way. Some 2 million Michigan residents, about 20% of the state population, are now receiving care from these doctors.

“It's not a pilot project,” said Dr. David Share, senior vice president of value partnerships for the Michigan Blues. The insurer's calculations show savings have grown from a total of $155 million in the first three years of the program, which began in July 2008, to that amount in 2012 alone.

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Source: Modern Healthcare