KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Enthusiasm For Medical Homes Gradually Picks Up

Insurers are testing a concept called "medical home" that uses electronic records and coordinates care, and could transform the delivery of health care. Advocates say such medical homes could save consumers time and money and insurers back the idea. Meanwhile, skeptics say financial savings still need to be proven and incentives need to put into the system to encourage such care. 

CNN reports on patient-centered medical homes: "The model is already being tested in 44 states -- with such big health insurers as UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Medicaid taking part -- and utilizes key components of President Obama's reform effort. In medical homes, the family physician is like a personal health coach, responsible for managing all aspects of the patient's health care needs, explained Paul Keckley, executive director of Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, a unit of consulting firm Deloitte LLP."

And enthusiasm for the concept is gradually picking up. "There are 27 medical home demonstration programs -- collaborations between purchasers, providers and payers -- underway around the country, according to the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), a trade group that's spearheading the medical home movement. Medicaid has pilot programs in 31 states while Medicare is gearing up to launch eight demonstration programs, said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the PCPCC" (Kavilanz, 7/23).

Meanwhile, CBS 4 Denver reports that Children's Hospital embraces electronic records that "allow everyone involved in a patient's care to have all the information at the same time." They also report: "For Children's Hospital electronic records are working so well they're planning to expand the system to other Colorado Hospitals" (7/23).

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