Health and Wellness

Getting Better Health Care

Dr. Steve Feldman MD

Getting Better Health Care – Patient Centered Medical Homes can help solve our health care problems (Part 2)

Patient Centered Medical Homes are a proven way to reduce the cost of health care while improving health care quality. Dr. Paul Grundy, Global Director, IBM Healthcare Transformation and the current President of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, describes how patient centered medical homes provides comprehensive primary care to people of all ages, broadening access to primary care and improving the coordination of care. Key components of a patient centered medical home include:

1. Responsibility and accountability for the ongoing care of patients
2. Accessibility to patients on short notice including expanded hours and open scheduling
3. Consultations using email and telephone technology
4. Using up-to-date and and evidence-based medical approaches
5. Using electronic personal health records
6. Systems to assure that patients get regular check-ups and early treatment/prevention measures so that costly emergency procedures and hospitalizations are prevented
7. Encouragement for healthy lifestyle decisions
8. Coordinated care to make sure procedures are relevant, necessary and performed efficiently.

In our discussion, Dr. Grundy describes how health care costs are dragging American industry down and how industry and insurers got together to create more rational, effective, efficient and affordable health care systems. Grundy describes how patient centered medical homes are proliferating and how they have been proven to save money for industries that adopt them for their employees. Grundy also points out that changes toward patient centered medical homes are happening rapidly, in part because they make sense and in part because employers have big incentives to keep their employees healthy and to locate their businesses in regions that provide better (less costly and higher quality) services.