State invests $1M in medical home training

Most people are familiar with the proverb, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." A new initiative in Ohio seeks to apply that philosophy to expand the use of the patient-centered medical home model for primary care.

In particular, the state will invest $1 million from the state's newly created Office of Health Transformation to train 1,000 to 1,500 doctors, nurses and other professionals to better handle electronic medical records, create disease registries, schedule patients efficiently and manage new channels of communicating with patients, the Associated Press reported.

With a recent report revealing that the medical-home transition is indeed a stressful endeavor for employees, the support should come as a welcome gift to the 50 Ohio facilities that the investment will reach.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, who sponsored the law when she was in the Ohio House, told the AP that she recognized the time, stress and money involved in changing a well-established, over-worked practice into a technology-driven, team-oriented medical home. "It made a lot more sense to train medical students, residents and nurse practitioners in this model from the very beginning," she added.

The funds are intended to benefit not only employees of the 50 sites but also to offer scholarships to medical and nursing students to experience hands-on training for how to deliver care under the model.

A state law signed in 2010 helped pave the way for 44 sites without money to support the practices' transition to medical homes. The new program fully funds training at those sites and opens up the door for six more medical homes, all of which provide care to underserved or minority populations in the state.

To learn more:
- read the Associated Press article on CBS Moneywatch