The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative report says WellPoint predicts its PCMH program could reduce its projected medical costs in 2015 by up to 20% based on analysis of its current medical home projects. So it's investing heavily. So is United Healthcare, which predicts that its PCMH efforts will save twice as much as they cost.
So that leaves us to determine the impact of the recent report. Clearly, it does not show positive results during the time period it measures. It also shows that achieving a certification or designation does not guarantee your investment in the tools of the PCMH will pay off. But does that mean all the time and effort setting up patient-centered medical homes, which payers are increasingly incentivizing, is wasted?
Certainly not. What it will deliver for healthcare is still to be determined, but I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to any scheme that will incentivize physician practices and other healthcare organizations to effectively work together to drive value and good outcomes.
Many healthcare organizations that never used to work together on these things are now doing so. It's a huge step forward for an insular, silo-based industry that has really never had to take business risk on how well it does what it's supposed to do—help people get better.
If the option is ditching it in favor of returning to the fee-for-service patient volume game, you can count me out.