Penn State FMIG Event

More than 100 medical students and faculty came out for a Pennsylvania State College of Medicine FMIG event focused on the patient-centered medical home last fall. Among the reduction in cost and increase in the quality of care provided through a PCMH model, Dr. Warren Taylor, director of chronic disease management at Kaiser Permanente, discussed the decrease in burn-out among physicians practicing in the team-based PCMH care system.

"This makes sense, of course," said Jared Nissley, a third-year medical student at Penn State in Hershey, PA, and president of the FMIG at the time of the presentation. "In a well-functioning team, physicians can rely on their colleagues to provide many of the necessary services, while putting their skills to use where needed most."

Dr. Taylor discussed how a PCMH model allowed the health care professionals at Kaiser Permanente to better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. He also explained how it helps target efficient care to the small fraction of patients that consume a disproportionate amount of health care resources. This type of management can reduce overall costs to the health care system. Specifically, he explained how Kaiser's top-to-bottom model of integrated care achieves better population outcomes in measures of hypertension and hemoglobin A1C control, while improving patient and provider satisfaction.

"In the context of a large health system like Kaiser, he described how an individual office might function as a patient-centered medical home within a neighborhood of specialists and hospitals," Nissley said.

For some students, the event was an introduction to the topic. Others have heard about PCMH and are beginning to grasp how well the model suits tne needs of chronic disease management.

"As FMIG leaders, we believed it was important to expose medical students to this topic because this is a national conversation that will affect the rest of our careers," Nissley said. "Presentations like these empower our students to join that conversation. As physicians, we will have a responsibility to redesign our health care delivery system to better meet the needs of our patients."

Penn State has also created a Medical Home Longitudinal Advanced Elective(www.pennstatehershey.org), in which third- and fourth-year students follow a panel of patients throughout an entire year to see how team-based care works.