In June 2011, the Medical Group Management Association, now known as MGMA-ACMPE, released the results of a questionnaire that ranked members' most pressing practice management challenges. In this edition of "Practice Makes Perfect," we'll tackle No. 13 on that list: implementing and/or optimizing a patient-centered medical home, or PCMH.
Despite the potential financial risks associated with becoming a PCMH, a majority of respondents to the MGMA Patient Centered Medical Home—2011 Status and Needs Study said their desire to provide patient-focused care and the opportunity to improve their patients' health drove them to seek the designation. As healthcare costs continue to increase and reimbursement for services declines, it's commendable that practice executives value a patient-centered approach in their practices and continue to fine-tune their organizations' efforts.
PCMHs are formally recognized for providing ongoing, preventive and therapeutic primary-care services for their patients. The PCMH is characterized by improved patient access, better health monitoring (in general and in particular for chronic conditions), coordination of care across the community setting and reduced rates of unanticipated utilization of secondary-care services.