The patient-centered medical home and accountable care organizations: an overview.Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Dec; 24(6):458-64.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
As the crisis regarding the cost of medical care in the United States continues to spiral out of control, new models of care are being touted as a means to fix the economics of healthcare. This review will examine newly proposed models of healthcare.
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and accountable care organizations (ACOs) are two models that have leapt to the forefront of healthcare reform. The PCMH or medical home is a model predicated upon a primary care provider who will provide and coordinate comprehensive healthcare for the patient across the continuum with care that is evidence based and patient centered. The PCMH provides coordinated care, allowing for more appropriate utilization of resources resulting in improved care and outcomes while decreasing costs. The ACO agrees to be accountable for the overall care, quality and cost of the patients enrolled. The model links patient care to quality, safety and improved outcomes. This coordination reduces the costs of care, thus making it economically appealing to the patients, the providers, the ACO and the payer, whether it be government or private.
Healthcare reform will require implementation of new models of care. The PCMH and ACO are two such models. Although both models have their share of supporters as well as detractors, both will play a significant role in the next chapter of healthcare reform in this country.