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PCMH Data Certifies Proof of Concept

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 15, 2014

Data collected from 11 states strongly suggests that the question to ask about the patient-centered medical home model is not whether it reduces healthcare costs and improves outcomes, but how well.

Forgive me for preaching to the choir, but another round-up of studies released this week re-confirms what we already know: Patient-centered medical homes improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

In fact, the question is no longer "will they work?" Evidence increasingly settles that question. Now the questions center around just how effective PCMHs can be in reducing costs and improving outcomes.

Consider the findings in an analysis released this week from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. It's a composite of peer-review and industry-generated studies, showing that the PCMH model is reducing costs of care, unnecessary emergency department and hospital visits, and increasing the use of preventive services and improving population health.

These findings are more than regional success stories. The study includes data from 20 PCMH projects in 11 states from New Hampshire to Alaska, and national data from PCMHs serving active-military and veterans, which show that 60% of the PCMH evaluations reported decreases in cost of care or use of unnecessary services, while 30% saw improved population health.

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