Observers hope Merck's embracement of health reform effort leads to wider adoption

While Merck & Co. isn't the first corporation to promote the benefits of patient-centered medical homes on a national scale, an early implementer of the health care model said the pharmaceutical firm's efforts to internalize the message will encourage more primary-care doctors in New Jersey to take the leap in transforming their practices.

"Even with the known benefits of reducing costs and improving care, primary-care practices have been reluctant to invest in this model because of their economic situations," said Dr. Alfred F. Tallia, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "The fact that a very large employer in this state — regardless of it being in a health-related industry — is promoting this and telling its employees, 'Look for these kinds of practices for your next doctor's visit,' will motivate more practices to adopt this model."

To externally promote the health care model, Merck released an educational video providing an overview of the National Committee for Quality Assurance standards and processes for primary-care doctors to transform their practices into federally recognized patient-centered medical homes.

Merck collaborated with NCQA in support of the PCMH model "because it supports one of Merck's key objectives — helping health care professionals to improve patient health outcomes cost effectively," said Dr. Sethu Reddy, vice president of U.S. medical affairs for Merck, in an e-mail. "We are hopeful this simple resource will be used by many primary-care practices to help understand the benefits of becoming a patient-centered medical home, and the steps to earn PCMH recognition."

Go to top