Patient-centered medical homes lower costs, reduce healthcare overuse

Report also finds model produces care quality improvements

The evidence is clear that the use of patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) can reduce healthcare costs, overuse of the emergency department and overall inpatient hospitalizations, according to a new, comprehensive report from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC).

The findings, which evaluated scholarly publications, state government reports and industry reports for a total of 28 publications, expand upon the existing data that support the improvements in cost and utilization associated with medical homes, the report states. PCPCC defines the PCMH as "a model for achieving primary care excellence so that care is received in the right place, at the right time and in the manner that best suits a patient's needs," according to the organization's website.

In the scholarly publications the PCPCC report reviewed, six of the 10 found the use of PCMHs reduced healthcare costs, and 12 out of 13 reported "improvements in utilization," such as reduced ED visits and inpatient hospitalizations. Meanwhile, all seven state government reports indicated cost reductions and 86 percent found utilization improvements. Finally, 57 percent of industry reports found savings and 86 percent of them reported improvements in utilization.

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