Coordinated Care Management

July 15, 2010

Care Management Research: Defining a Patient-Centered Home

"Defining and Measuring the Patient-Centered Medical Home," is a recently published article that summarizes a research study funded by The Commonwealth Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.   The researchers set out to analyze the factors that are most important for creating a coordinated community of care providers and care managers to deliver fully integrated patient care. According to the study, the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) can play an important role in transforming U.S. health care services and improving patient and treatment outcomes. However, the concept itself, and best practices for a patient-centered medical home are not currently well known. 
The article provides a core definition of the PCMH as a team of people committed to improving the health and healing of individuals in a community. Transforming a traditional medical practice model into a PCMH requires a focus on the fundamental tenets of primary care (e.g., accessibility, comprehensiveness, coordination and integration, and relationships), as well as new ways of organizing care (e.g., electronic visits and team-based care), developing internal capabilities (e.g., leadership and management structure), and making reimbursement changes (e.g., blended payments and care management fees). The study concludes that measuring and quantifying the benefits of the PCMH model, and seeing its full impact on health care services, will take between 5 and 10 years.
The article citation is: K. C. Stange, P. A. Nutting, W. L. Miller et al., 'Defining and Measuring the Patient-Centered Medical Home,' Journal of General Internal Medicine, June 2010 25(6):601-12.
Full text is available on the Springer website at:

Dr. Cronin is a Professor of Management in the Information Systems Department at Boston College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda
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