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AHA issues report on patient-centered medical homes

Hospitals can support patient-centered medical homes by linking them with affiliated physicians and offering health information technology, staff and management expertise, according to a report released Wednesday by the American Hospital Association.

The 21-page report synthesizes research on the patient-centered medical home, a care delivery model that aims to facilitate communication between patients and providers to improve the patient experience and reduce costs.

The AHA Committee on Research developed the report "to understand and identify the unique roles that hospitals can play in supporting primary care practices that deliver high-quality, coordinated, patient-oriented care," said committee Chairman Al Stubblefield. The patient-centered medical home model can complement the formation of an accountable care organization, he said.

According to the report, payment models for patient-centered medical homes should appropriately recognize the added value provided to patients. The report recommends payment structure should:

  • Reflect the value of physician and non-physician staff patient-centered care management work that falls outside of the face-to-face visit;

  • Pay for services associated with coordination of care both within a given practice and between consultants, ancillary providers and community resources;

  • Support adoption and use of health information technology for quality improvement;

  • Support the provision of enhanced communication access such as secure e-mail and telephone consultation;

  • Recognize the value of physician work associated with remote monitoring of clinical data using technology;

  • Allow for separate fee-for-service payments for face-to-face visits;

  • Recognize case mix differences in the patient population being treated within the practice;

  • Allow physicians to share in savings from reduced hospitalizations associated with physician-guided care management in the office setting; and

  • Allow for additional payments for achieving measurable and continuous quality improvements.

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