Family physicians who are interested in, or already part of, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) phenomenon sweeping the country now can monitor the progress of PCMH activities using a new mapping tool created by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC).
According to a June 9 press release(www.pcpcc.org), the free online resource, dubbed the Primary Care Innovations and PCMH Map(www.pcpcc.org), identifies active programs and initiatives built on PCMH principles. The tool includes information on payment reform and quality initiatives.
Marci Nielsen, Ph.D., M.P.H., who is CEO of the PCPCC, told AAFP News that she and others in the organization were "thrilled" to provide the interactive resources to all health care stakeholders seeking information on the PCMH movement.
"We want people to have the information they need to identify and better connect with organizations in their state and communities that are investing in primary care," said Nielsen.
- The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative released an interactive mapping resource that allows users to monitor patient-centered medical home activities nationwide.
- Users can link to one of three views that give them information about what's going on with the PCMH in individual states, including a look at public and private payer support.
- The tool will be updated as information about new programs and expansion or completion of existing initiatives becomes available.
To be clear, the tool does not map individual medical home clinics or practices, but rather it allows users to verify where medical homes are becoming a standard of care in both public and private health insurance plans.
The new mapping tool invites users to browse three unique formats. Link to the
- "state view"(www.pcpcc.org) to see a summary of all public and commercial PCMH programs in each state;
- "national view"(www.pcpcc.org) to find specific PCMH programs by location across the country; or
- "list view"(www.pcpcc.org) to access a list of programs based on selected criteria such as state, program name, payer type and reported outcomes.
Although Nielsen encouraged state and federal policymakers, researchers and educators to take advantage of the mapper, she said physicians would find the tool particularly helpful because it could geographically identify -- with pinpoint precision -- Medicaid, Medicare and commercial health insurance plans that support PCMH programs.
The AAFP, a long-standing supporter of the PCMH model, has for several years urged payers to recognize PCMH practices with additional payment for improved care quality. The AAFP knows all too well that family physicians are hesitant to invest in the kind of practice changes necessary to transform to a PCMH without the promise of a return on that financial investment.
Regarding the new tool, Nielsen noted that family physician could "use this information as a resource as they navigate the medical home planning, implementation and transformation process." With the help of the mapper, they will now have the ability to key in on and contact specific organizations that support the PCMH model in their own communities, Nielsen added.
For example, a quick click on Washington in the "state view" format brings up historical information that highlights the state's early embrace of the PCMH model and includes legislative activities that have furthered medical home projects in the state. As for specific activities, Washington-based physicians have more than a dozen options to investigate: six public payer programs, seven private payer programs and one multi-payer program.
According to Nielson, the mapping project has been in development since 2009 following the PCPCC's launch of a medical home tracking map that relied on self-reported data.
"As the programs evolved, we identified the need to develop a more robust resource that tracks medical home activity in real time," said Nielsen.
She added that the map would be updated as PCPCC staff members acquire information about new programs, expansion or completion of existing initiatives, and publicly reported outcomes.
"In an effort to maintain accuracy and the integrity of the map, the PCPCC welcomes edits and additional program information," said Nielsen. Updates and suggestions for additions to the map may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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