A new coalition of employers and physician groups plans to advance the concept of the patient-centered medical home as a way to reform the Medicare physician payment system. Members of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative presented their views at a hearing of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee in May.
A medical home is a physician practice that provides continuous access to a primary-care physician who treats and manages the whole patient rather than limiting practice to a single disease condition or procedure, and which implements systems-based approaches that will enable physicians and other clinicians to manage care in partnership with the patient.
Four doctors groups earlier this year unveiled a set of principles to guide creation of medical homes (March 12, p. 36). Such an approach would improve the patients health and offer a better model for compensating physicians, Rick Kellerman, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, testified before the panel.