The average number of physicians in patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices is 8.1. (CDC)
If you’re in the healthcare industry, you’ve likely heard of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model and the idea that being recognized as a PCMH is important to your success as a medical practice. It’s also likely that you’re wondering why it’s so important to be recognized as a PCMH. One question you may have is, “Will it make my practice more patient and physician friendly?”
The short answer is yes. Let’s take a look at why.
Improved preventative services and screenings
When practices are following this model, patients benefit in a number of ways. First, because of greater attention paid to providing preventative services and screenings, patients tend to stay healthier when their primary practice operates as a medical home.
Patients who visit a PCMH also tend to enjoy better communication, better management of chronic conditions, and have an overall better experience. This is due to the concepts that are emphasized in this model and the way those concepts place the practice’s focus directly on patient-centered care.
Higher reimbursement from insurance companies
Patients aren’t the only ones benefiting from the model. Physicians stand to gain quite a bit from this designation as well, including higher reimbursement. Insurance companies value the PCMH recognition and clinicians who practice in a recognized office can seek financial benefits for their efforts. This is in addition to the financial benefits provided by Medicare for PCMH recognition.
Full credit in the MIPS Improvement Activities category
There are regulatory benefits to practicing in a recognized medical home. Physicians automatically earn full credit in the MIPS Improvement Activities category by working in a PCMH, leading to greater MACRA success. Additionally, physicians whose certification requires them to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits are able to do so simply by practicing in this type of practice.
Better focus on patient care
Finally, physicians see the benefit of being able to truly focus on patient care, something that can be increasingly difficult in today’s healthcare climate. Because the focus in this type of practice is on providing the gold standard in patient care, physicians in these practices are not required to keep up with the haggard pace of seeing an average of four patients each hour, a practice that invariably leaves them running behind and feeling frustrated and exhausted at the end of each day. Rather, by practicing under the PCMH model, physicians are able to take their time and dig in with each patient, focusing on giving them the best possible health outcomes and ensuring that the full spectrum of their health needs are being met. This not only leads to satisfied patients, but very satisfied physicians as well.
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It’s a well-known fact that satisfied patients and physicians make for a healthy practice, so when considering whether or not to make any adjustments to your practice, such as becoming recognized as a PCMH, your first thought is likely, “How will this transition impact my physicians and patients?” When it comes to this model, the answer is clearly for the better.