Friday, June 27, 2008

'Adopt' versus 'Release.' What AHIP Really Says About the Patient Centered Medical Home

Hat tip to Modern Health Care Online with their June 26 story that ‘AHIP adopts principles on patient centered medical home.’ Interestingly, the AHIP press release does not use the word ‘adopt,’ as in ‘accept,’ ‘support,’ ‘embrace,’ ‘desires,’ or ‘likes.’ Rather, the document itself is a carefully crafted and rather cautious outline of what the risk-bearing health insurers think about this topic at this time. Read it for yourself here and/or consider these quotes (bolding mine) and decide for yourself:

'The Patient centered Medical Home is a promising concept that would replace episodic care.'

'Even though many clinical setting can potentially constitute a patient centered medical home, we believe certain principles are crucial…'

'….ongoing market experimentation regarding designing and implementing the medical home, our community has made a commitment to work collaboratively with other stake holders…..'

'The medical home is not a concept designed to provide one standard of care process…..'

'Learning collaboratives, both physical and virtual, should be encouraged as a way to share early successes….'

'Clinicians…should commit to being accountable for improving clinical outcomes and patient experience, appropriate utilization… and ensuring transparency.'

'The benefits of a medical home only [sic] will be realized if both clinical practice and consumer behavior evolves….'

And what the DMCB thinks is a bottom line:

'Pilot testing…. should be completed before the patient centered medical home concept is broadly implemented to determine which approaches are most effective. Research is needed to determine a sustainable framework for improvement of clinical outcomes, ways to ensure long term affordability for patients and the best methods for implementation to ensure a stable infrastructure that prioritizes improved health outcomes.'

The verb used in the AHIP headline ‘releases.’ Sorry, PCMHitzens, you still have some work to do before the insurers will start cutting checks.

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