Patient-centered medical homes improve diabetes care

The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) reduced mortality rates and improved outcomes in diabetes patients, according to a recent study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Based on the chronic-care model, the PCMH focuses on care coordination between multiple payers to meet patient needs. Under the PCMH model, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute, among others, reported significant improvement in adhering to evidence-based guidelines and clinical outcomes.

Patients had better LDL levels and blood pressure, and lower A1c levels, and providers reported that nearly 70 percent of patients managed their care, reaching their goals, according to a Penn State press release today.

Diabetes is notably one of the closely examined chronic conditions through nationwide efforts to manage care across the continuum. Diabetes rates have doubled worldwide, escalating to 347 million patients globally and nearly 25 million in the U.S, according to a British journal Lancet.

In addition, the disease accounts for $174 billion in medical care each year in the U.S., notes the press release. For instance, diabetes patients have higher costs (2.3 times higher) than similar patients without diabetes.

"This arrangement is unique," said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, Penn State College of Medicine and director, Penn State Hershey Diabetes and Obesity Institute, in the press release. "...This [PCMH] model makes physicians look at their patient population in general, not just the individual. The focus has always been on the individual. That's great, but the twist here is to also look at the broad population."

For more:
- read the Penn State press release
- check out the study abstract