Medical Home Program: Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama

While the concept of a medical home was first introduced in 1967, it has gained popularity in recent years with providers, patients and healthcare plans due to mounting evidence showing how medical home programs improve health outcomes and reduce costs while strengthening the relationship between patients and primary care providers. The concept seeks to build processes that encourage physicians’ practices to spend time on patient counseling and education, report and monitor clinical outcomes, and assist in the coordination of care with other healthcare providers. 

 In 2007, the “Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH)” were released by the largest primary care physician organizations in the United States, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association. Healthcare organizations followed with medical home accreditation, certification and recognition programs. One of these programs, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH Recognition Program, was utilized within the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Medical Home Pilot to designate physician practices that successfully met the basic principles of the medical home concept. 

 In 2009, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, with input from employer groups and medical professional societies, launched a pilot program. Based on the collaboration with the local medical societies, 14 physician practices were chosen for the pilot. These practices represented a large mix of populations, both urban and rural, several specialties, as well as different patient populations and practice sizes who utilized multiple practice management tools and technologies.

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