Patient-centered medical homes improve care, decrease cost

The patient-centered medical home is being examined as a possible way to save costs and improve primary care.  In the medical homes model, primary care doctors are held responsible for coordinating care for individual patients.  The doctors are on salary, but their salaries also have financial incentives built in, like increased payments if their patients are more satisfied or if they receive better quality scores for their care.

Group Health Research Institute looked at both costs and patient outcomes from a medical home in Seattle.  They found that the medical home model both saved money and improved care for patients.  Medical home patients also reported better care experiences.

(Sources: Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, http://kaiserhealthnews.org, May 5, 2010; Health Affairs, http://healthaffairs.org, May 2010)