The Patient-Centered Medical Home: A Future Standard for American Health Care?



The patient-centered medical home has been promoted as a way of organizing health service delivery to reduce costs while offering superior health outcomes and coordination of care. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 promotes the patient-centered medical home as a tool to reshape the delivery of health care in the United States. Preliminary findings from demonstration projects indicate positive overall results in terms of access, quality of care, and cost containment, and the model should continue to be reviewed for potential national adoption. However, there is significant variation in individual medical home setups, reimbursement arrangements, and evaluation methods, making the model difficult to assess, compare, and implement. When developing and evaluating this model, policy makers need to provide continuous support for practice transformation, adopt consistent outcome measures, and have realistic expectations about the timeline for such transformation.