NY health plans begin medical home effort

Two of the Rochester, NY-area's largest health plans are launching a new medical home initiative, with goals that include improving patient care, stabilizing or reducing healthcare costs and improving primary-care physicians' job satisfaction.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and MVP Health Care/Preferred Care, which together cover 85 percent of the Rochester-area market, are recruiting up to 20 primary-care doctors for the three year initiative. Participating providers must already be using electronic medical records--which will clearly reduce the health plan's choices given how few PCPs have adopted them--as the health plan feels the doctors can best identify patients who aren't getting follow-up or recommended care using this technology.

Under the scheme, physician-led teams would coordinate all needed care for patients, including keeping a close watch on patients who are referred to specialists. While the health plans wouldn't say how much they plan to pay participating primary-care physicians, they do plan to pay significantly more than usual, so the doctors can see fewer patients per hour. The plans will also cover the cost of new care managers, and a shared trainer to help practices make required changes.

Get more information on the new medical home project:
- read this Democrat and Chronicle piece

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