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Physicians group receives grant to study cost of innovative care model

The American College of Physicians has received a grant of nearly $225,000 from the Commonwealth Fund to study the cost of a patient-centered medical home.

The grant, part of the Commonwealth Fund's Patient-Centered Primary Care Initiative, will help underwrite a 10-month study, which began last November. ACP committed matching funds for the study in late 2007.

The PCMH is a conceptual model of care that calls for a primary care "base" from which healthcare services are coordinated to provide more effective and efficient care to the patient. The PCMH includes using healthcare information technology; coordinating specialty and inpatient care; providing preventive services through health promotion; and using disease management and prevention, health maintenance, behavioral health services, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.  

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The study - "What Does a Patient-Centered Medical Home Cost?" - will be directed by Michael S. Barr, MD, vice president of ACP's Department of Practice Advocacy and Improvement. Robert Berenson, MD, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who is an expert in healthcare policy, particularly Medicare, will lead the research team. ACP has convened a multi-stakeholder advisory committee to help guide the project.

 

Berenson has served in senior positions in two presidential administrations, including as acting deputy administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (the predecessor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and has helped organize and manage a preferred-provider organization. Berenson will work with other researchers at the Urban Institute, the Medical Group Management Association and the National Opinion Research Center.

"We are very pleased that The Commonwealth Fund is co-funding this important study with ACP and enthusiastic about working with the research team," said Barr. "The concept of the PCMH has been developed, and a process for recognizing practices that are providing care according to the model is being tested. Understanding the economics of the PCMH is essential to the development of payment strategies that support the adoption and spread of the model. The main goal of this research project is to identify the incremental costs of building the medical home in a variety of practice settings."

The Commonwealth Fund is an independent foundation working toward healthcare policy reform and a high performance health system. It is one of the major philanthropic foundations in the United States.

The American College of Physicians is the nation's largest medical specialty organization. Membership is composed of 124,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists provide the majority of healthcare to adults in America.