Physician Engagement Key to Patient-Centered Medical Home Model

More than one-third (37.9%) are still unsure about the structure and purpose of medical homes, according to a report released by The Physician’s Foundation that includes responses from more than 13,000 physicians. Almost the same amount (37.7%) believes the model is unlikely to improve quality and reduce medical costs.  

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association seems to support physician perspective on lack of quality improvement.  

Marci Nielsen, chief executive officer of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, isn’t surprised by the report, or the JAMA article, or the media attention.  

“When you see that kind of media attention, you need to look a little bit deeper,” Nielsen says. “I think what you’ll see is [people believe] this model is a threat to the status quo.”  

Consider the source Nielsen explains that within a single week there were 28 different stories, both pro and con, related to the JAMA article. The good news is that people care, and want to know whether the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) works. The less-than-good news is the media hype around the story.  

“Were that study to have said ‘guess what, we found phenomenal results in southeastern Pennsylvania,’ the study would not have garnered nearly the media attention,” Nielsen says. “So, something is up here, and a conspiracy theorist might say that there are enough folks whose world will be turned upside down should we move to a model that really incentivizes primary care in significant ways.”  

She’s also not surprised by physician perception. She points to a sense of fatigue around payment gimmicks that have frustrated and exhausted doctors; payment systems that were supposed to solve healthcare’s problems the last go-around, but didn’t.  

“Physicians and other healthcare professionals say [PCMH] is just the flavor of the day,” Nielsen explains.

Go to top