Letter: PCMH concept attempts a failed return to old-fashioned medicine

July 25, 2014

Primary care physicians used to provide the services of a patient medical home, a reader notes.

Isn’t it interesting: What goes around comes around regarding the article on patient-centered medical homes (“PCMH: How to make care coordination work,” May 25, 2014).

Isn’t that what we in primary care used to do, and some still do, for so many years without needing articles in Medical Economics to guide us?

During my many years of solo pediatric practice, I was the medical home for ALL of my patients.  I, and my pediatric peers, saw our patients in the office, at night  (if necessary for acute illness), and in the hospital when we admitted them. We referred them to specialists when necessary, and guided and oversaw ALL of their medical care.

It is only with the advent of intrusive government regulations, mandates of various insurance plans causing patients to shift from plan to plan and from doctor to doctor that the PCMH has been diluted and, in most cases, lost. 

I seriously doubt that articles of how to make PCMH work will change much in the present day medical milieu.  I feel sorry for the present-day primary physician.

Us old timers truly lived and practiced in the golden age of medicine.

Horst D. Weinberg, MD

 Sacramento, California