Friday, December 28, 2012

A Watershed Year: What 2013 Holds for the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

The savvy Jeff Levin-Scherz, who blogs over at Managing Healthcare Costs has responded to the Disease Management Care Blog's snarky "Prattling Pinheads of Pessimism" post on the topic of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). 

He's not a nattering nabob of negativity or a prattling pessimistic pinhead, says he.  He'd like to be thought of as a skeptic seeking substantiation.   The DMCB wholeheartedly approves of the agreeable alliterative appellation.

2013 may well turn out to be the watershed decision year for the PCMH:

If there's no published peer-reviewed proof that it reduces health care costs, nabobs, pinheads, skeptics and policymakers will need to decide if no evidence of an impact on costs is the same as evidence of no impact on costs.

If the answer is no, THEN we'll then have to decide if the traditional "X causes Y" mathematical approaches to derive proof (such as a comparison of averages using standard power calculations and/or impact on expected or observeed trend) are equal to the task in a very "statistically noisy" environment involving complicated human beings.

If that answer is no, THEN we'll have to decide if reasonable and informed assessments of potential cost reductions, used by countless other businesses every day in other sectors of the economy, are good enough,

If that answer is no, THEN we'll have to decide if there is face value to the PCMH. This involves a contrast of any patient benefit versus its incremental cost.  If the benefit is worth the cost.....

THEN we may have to decide if consumers are willing to pay for it, or if health care costs will need to be cut elsewhere to pay for it.

Stay tuned!

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