Better health, lower costs: Patient-centered medical home program working
Fewer ER visits and inpatient stays. Lower costs. Promising clinical outcomes.
These are the results MetroHealth is seeing from our patient-centered medical home program for the uninsured - the first of its kind in the state.
MetroHealth launched Partners in Care in May 2009 to serve uninsured patients in a more clinically-effective and cost-effect way. The program's medical director, Dr. James Misak, recently presented to Ohio legislators and other state leaders on the program's success.
At the core of Partners in Care is establishing an ongoing relationship between patients and their personal primary care teams. Program leaders have singled out diabetes and hypertension as chronic conditions with an especially high prevalence in the uninsured population. Without regular medical care, these conditions worsen, leading to more costly care and hospitalizations.
Patients who enrolled in program showed promising improvements in the management of both conditions, and those improvements grew in conjunction with the length of program enrollment.
As part program, each patient has a medical team assigned to help manage their care. The involvement of a "care coordinator" on each team also proved to have a significant impact on health outcomes.
"We are very encouraged by the results of Partners in Care to date," notes James Misak, MD, Associate Director of Family Medicine for the MetroHealth Center for Community Health and Medical Director of the Partners in Care program.
"This patient-centered medical home model of care is keeping our patients healthier, helping patients establish continuous healing relationships with their primary care team and reducing avoidable Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations."
By the Numbers:
- 45% of MetroHealth's 26,189 uninsured patients receiving primary care in 2010 were enrolled in Partners in Care at six MetroHealth sites
- More than 90% of patients enrolled in the program had a primary care visit.