Letters to the Editor
To the Editor: The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) provides coordinated, comprehensive, continuing, team-based, and patient-centered primary care as well as population management and accountability for health outcomes. Considerable experience suggests that PCMHs should be the foundation for a reformed care system that improves quality, lowers costs, and meets patients’ needs.1–3
However, many medical schools and residencies are not yet exposing trainees to PCMHs. Family medicine programs are an exception: Dozens of family medicine residencies have changed their practices into PCMHs and implemented PCMH curricula.4,5
But this is just a start. If the nation wants to achieve a higher-performing and more efficient health care system, then medical students and residents of all specialties need to be exposed to and familiar with the PCMH. Primary care physicians (PCPs) should be prepared to work effectively within PCMHs. Non-primary-care physicians must understand the role of PCMHs in reformed delivery systems, such as accountable care organizations, so that they may better coordinate with PCPs in the care of patients.6
We urge medical schools and residencies to redesign their primary care practices and curricula to demonstrate and teach principles of the PCMH to physicians of all specialties.
Kyle Bradford Jones, MD
Clinical instructor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Michael K. Magill, MD
Chair, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah; firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Maeng DD, Graf TR, Davis DE, Tomcavage J, Bloom FJ Jr. Can a patient-centered medical home lead to better patient outcomes? The quality implications of Geisinger’s ProvenHealth Navigator. Am J Med Qual. 2012;27:210–216
2. Reid RJ, Coleman K, Johnson EA, et al. The Group Health medical home at year two: Cost savings, higher patient satisfaction, and less burnout for providers. Health Aff (Millwood). 2010;29:835–843
3. Williams JW, Jackson GL, Powers BJ, et al. The Patient-Centered Medical Home. Closing the Quality Gap: Revisiting the State of the Science. July 2012 Rockville, Md Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence report no. 208. AHRQ publication no. 12-E008-EF
4. Douglass AB, Rosener SE, Stehney MA. Implementation and preliminary outcomes of the nation’s first comprehensive 4-year residency in family medicine. Fam Med. 2011;43:510–513
6. Meyers D, Peikes D, Genevro J, et al. The Roles of Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations in Coordinating Patient Care. December 2010 Rockville, Md Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality AHRQ publication no. 11-M005-EF