Healthcare Business News

Noting challenges, doc groups laud medical homes

By Maureen McKinney
Posted: July 31, 2012 - 12:15 pm ET

Two large physician organizations are praising the patient-centered medical home model as a way to provide more-coordinated care, engage patients and families, and improve healthcare quality.

In a six-page position paper, the American College of Physicians and the Society of General Internal Medicine Physicians analyzed how the medical-home model meets medicine's overarching goals of patient-centeredness, ready access to care and continuous improvement.

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"The PCMH model of care aligns well with the traditional principles of medical ethics and professionalism, including the duty to promote the good and act in the best interest of the patient, the duty to do no harm to the patient and respect for patient autonomy," Dr. David Bronson, the ACP's president (PDF), said in a news release.

In the paper, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the authors also noted that design flaws and other hurdles, such as inadequate reimbursement, could hinder the success of patient-centered medical homes. But they argued that the new model comes at a crucial time, when "many Americans are 'medically homeless.' "

"The PCMH holds promise to substantively rectify this situation, bringing the healthcare system closer to the ideals of medical ethics and professionalism,” they wrote.

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