How peer support boosts the patient-centered medical home model

Peers for Progress reports opportunities, challenges for community health workers

As patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) continue to gain steam, a new report reinforces the fact that the model's mission of lowering costs and improving access to care relies on the use of peer support from community health workers (CHWs).

Peers for Progress, a group composed of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) and the National Council of La Raza, produced the report following their joint conference in April, which brought together 10 model programs and other stakeholders to discuss the role peer support plays in the PCMH model.

The report defines peer support as services that include assistance in daily management and prevention, social and emotional support, and linkage to clinical care and community resources, and it uses the term CHW to refer to health coaches, navigators and other non-clinicians who aid patients.

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