KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study: Medical Homes Haven’t Saved Money Or Substantially Improved Care

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a pilot project that organizes care for patients in order to improve care quality and reduce costs improved neither substantially.

JAMA: Limited Quality Improvement But No Cost Reduction In Medical Home Pilot
There's been great hope that the patient-centered medical home model could help alleviate rising health care costs and improve the quality of care. But results from a large pilot study published in JAMA today found no cost savings and only a modest improvement in quality (Kuehn, 2/25).

The New York Times: Study Finds Limited Benefit To Some 'Medical Homes'
You may have heard the term "medical home" to describe a way of organizing doctors' practices to provide more comprehensive, less costly, patient-friendly treatment. Insurance companies often offer more money to practices that become recognized as medical homes, which use a team approach to coordinate care. States are even looking to medical homes to help save money in their Medicaid programs (Carrns, 2/25). 

The Wall Street Journal: Study Questions Benefits Of 'Medical Home' Programs For Chronically Ill
Health-policy experts often talk up the notion of a "patient-center medical home" -- in which a medical practice actively manages patients' chronic conditions to improve their health and avoid hospitalizations -- as the ideal model for transforming the U.S. health-care system. But a study of one of the earliest and largest medical-home pilots found that after three years, patients' health improved in only 1 of 11 measures (Beck, 2/25). 

Reuters: Popular U.S. Health Reform Plan May Not Cut Costs, Boost Quality: Study
Increased attention given to patients in primary care practices organized into so-called medical homes may not improve quality of care or reduce health costs as reformers of the U.S. healthcare system had hoped, researchers said on Tuesday. Thousands of primary care doctors in the United States are revamping their practices based on this new medical home model (Steenhuysen, 2/25).

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