Patient-centered healthcare homes 'here to stay'

The patient-centered healthcare home, otherwise known as the patient-centered medical home, is on the rise, according to Christine G. Leyden, general manager of client services and chief accreditation officer at URAC, a nonprofit that promotes healthcare quality.

With the baby boomer generation aging, "the patient-centered healthcare home is here to stay," Leyden said at Opal Events' Medicare Advantage Strategic Business Symposium on Tuesday in Arlington, Va. Most likely targeting the long-term care arena in the future, more practices are seeking the patient-centered model.

For example, in 2009, 34 percent of healthcare programs were establishing medical homes. In 2010, 40 percent of healthcare programs were, according to Leyden.

The central theme of the patient-centered medical home is to provide the patient with the right care in the right setting at the right time, Leyden said.

This rising trend will require that hospitals collaborate with these practices, she added. For example, hospitalists and care coordinators will need to work with members at the patient-centered healthcare home after patient discharge, with the goal of avoiding readmissions and emergency room visits. In addition, hospitals will need to continue providing patients with discharge instructions, as well as notify their primary care providers about the patient's stay and condition.

The patient-centered healthcare home may be more evidence of the shift toward improved care across the continuum.

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