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Commentary
May 20, 2009

The Patient-Centered Medical HomeWill It Stand the Test of Health Reform?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Family and Community Medicine and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Rittenhouse); and Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Dr Shortell).

JAMA. 2009;301(19):2038-2040. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.691

The fundamental challenge for health care reform in the United States is to expand access to all US residents, while rapidly reengineering the delivery system to provide consistently high-quality care at lower overall cost. Current reform discussions recognize that success will require a shift in emphasis from fragmentation to coordination and from highly specialized care to primary care and prevention.

One prominent model of delivery system reform is the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Crafted by the primary care professional organizations in 2007, the model has been endorsed by a broad coalition of health care stakeholders, including all of the major national health plans, most of the Fortune 500 companies, consumer organizations and labor unions, the American Medical Association, and a total of 17 specialty societies.1 Currently, 22 multistakeholder demonstration pilot projects are under way in 14 states, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will conduct Medicare demonstration pilot projects in 400 practices in 8 regional sites in 2009.2,3 Twenty bills promoting the PCMH concept have been introduced in 10 states.4

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