No Easy Path to PCMH
These measureable results reflect the remarkably simple concept behind PCMH, which is to proactively manage patient chronic care to reduce expensive episodic care. The results are healthier, engaged patients and reduced costs.
We are hearing from any number of providers across the nation, however, that the actually journey to become a PCMH is not easy. The process is rife with snafus with electronic medical records, interoperability roadblocks, reimbursement challenges, and grueling federal mandates and timelines.
It's important to remember that these PCMHs are largely pilot projects that are providing the first rough drafts of how a value-based care model will work. The PCMH is still a work in progress, but it's already demonstrated that it can reduce the cost of care, reduce ER visits and inpatient admissions, improving population health, access to care and patient satisfaction. Even with the rough spots, that seems like a reasonable trade-off.
There is nothing to suggest that any start-up woes in the PCMH model are permanent. In fact, it seems reasonable to presume that PCMHs will continue to improve care and efficiencies while reducing costs as they gain more experience and refine the model.