4 Medical Home Obstacles Facing Small Physician Practices

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , November 15, 2012

These days, any trained observer of the medical landscape is aware of emerging excitement about patient-centered medical homes. In this new era of value-based care, with the move toward Accountable Care Organizations, many groups are wrapping their hopes for improved patient care around the model.

The goal of the medical home is to facilitate cooperative relationships among physicians, patients, and their families to improve care and outcomes.

Paul Nutting, MD, MSPH, a professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and director of research at the Center for Research Strategies in Denver, CO, knows that many in medicine believe the medical home is "a critical step" in reforming the U.S. healthcare system. 

But as more plans for medical homes get underway, small physician practices appear to be struggling with the concept, Nutting says. The problem lies with the physicians themselves, he explains.

In a report in this month's Health Affairs, the professor cites the "tyranny of the small primary care practice culture" as a significant obstacle toward medical home development.

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