The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model as a means of organizing primary care practice has spread widely around the country, generating enthusiasm in some quarters, skepticism in others. Measurement of PCMH results—Is care improved? Is money saved? Are patients and/or clinicians happier?—yields mixed results. Researchers point out that there is no single agreed-upon definition of the PCMH, nor is there agreement on the population to which its services should be extended. Nevertheless, primary care practices continue to seek recognition from the NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance) and health plans (including Medicare) have begun to augment payment to some PCMH practices. Some believe that PCMH is one means to begin a necessary but difficult transformation of care delivery and financing. This Forum session looked at lessons being learned as PCMH is implemented, factors likely to be associated with its success, and how primary care may continue to evolve.
George L. Jackson, PhD, MHA (bio)
Division of General Internal Medicine
Duke University School of Medicine
Research Health Scientist
Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care
Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center