Monday, June 24, 2013

It Costs How Much to Launch a Patient Centered Medical Home?

HOW much for the PCMH?!*
According to Drs. Gill and Bagley, writing in the Annals of Family Medicine, the costs of transforming a primary care practice to a Patient Centered Medical Home should be generously borne by "payers."

While wishful thinking about payers' deep pockets is not new, the article has some eye-opening data (with Disease Management Care Blog provided links) on just how much some or all of the elements of a PCMH cost:

a) $1850 per month per practice or $17,000 per physician,

b) $5,600 start-up then $2,200 per year related to the costs of reporting outcomes,

c) $117,000 per physician per year, and

d) up to approximately $15,000 per practice per year for a management facilitator

No wonder the DMCB's friends in academia want someone else to pay for it.

In the meantime, companies like this continue to offer a different business model. Instead of rebuilding and equipping an entire primary care practice for a croup-to-guts "transformation," population health (definition here) service providers focus on those patients who are at highest risk and provide a modular combination of in as well as outsourced services. While there is no head-to-head cost comparison of PH vs. PCMH, it would appear that the per patient approach of PH has a competitive pricing advantage.

Stocking up for
allergy season
And speaking of outsourced services, the DMCB joins its other colleagues in looking forward to EHR's "meaningful use" criteria go from being meaningless to being truly meaningful.

For an under-recognized example of just how meaningful things will become, check out this interesting blog posting that describes the use of cloud-based EHR-data to follow U.S. allergy statistics.

While the information is interesting on its own merits, think how these data could be used by savvy providers to match allergy "market demand" by "stocking" a "just-in-time" "inventory" of allergy-care services such as patient reminder campaigns (for those with allergy-provoked asthma, "be sure to use your peak flow meter!") extra condition-specific appointments ("your provider with allergy expertise can see you this morning!"), treatments slots (nebulizers and immunotherapy ready to go) and medications (OTCs and prescription meds for the in-house pharmacy).

*Image from Wikipedia

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