Study: Medical homes improve care

June 18, 2010

A two-year national demonstration project of the patient-centered medical home concept of 31 primary care practices shows that the model does improve care, but patients still complain of lack of income and personal relationships with physicians, according to study results.

A two-year national demonstration project of the patient-centered medical home concept of 31 primary care practices shows that the model does improve care, but patients still complain of lack of access and personal relationships with physicians, according to study results released in early June.

In a special supplement in the Annals of Family Medicine, "Evaluation of the American Academy of Family Physicians' Patient-Centered Medical Home National Demonstration Project," an independent team of researchers concludes it is possible to implement the technical aspects of the model in highly motivated practices. This implementation, even without payment reform, results in modest increases in quality of care (an Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance score, a prevention care score, and a chronic disease care score) but also seems to worsen patients' experience of care, at least in the short term, according to the authors.