10 core measures to evaluate patient-centered medical homes

The success of patient-centered medical homes should be based on the two domains of outcomes--cost/utilization and clinical quality, independent research foundation Commonwealth Fund reported Wednesday.

With more than 90 commercial health plans, 42 states and three federal initiatives participating in medical homes, thousands of providers are experimenting with the model and offering a promising solution to primary and patient-centered care, the report explains. However, there are no standardized guidelines for how to measure the success of the new approach to care. Seventy-five researchers through the Commonwealth Fund PCMH Evaluators' Collaborative identified a core set of standardized measures to evaluate the patient-centered medical home.

The core measures look at utilization (measures for emergency department visits, acute inpatient admissions and readmissions within 30 days) and total costs per member per month, including high-risk patients. Focusing on preventive care, chronic disease management, acute care, overuse and safety, the adult quality measures include the following:

  1. Adult weight screening and follow-up
  2. Medication management with people with asthma
  3. Breast cancer screening
  4. Colorectal cancer screening
  5. Cholesterol management for patients with cardiovascular conditions
  6. Imaging use for low back pain
  7. Pneumonia vaccination status for older patients
  8. Annual monitoring for patients on persistent medications
  9. Controlling high blood pressure
  10. Comprehensive diabetes care

Many of the measures particularly focus on offering comprehensive care to diabetics, including hemoglobin testing, blood pressure control, eye exam and medical attention for nephropathy, among other measures.

For more information:
- read the Commonwealth Fund announcement and report (.pdf)

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