American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Physicians
Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home
The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians have developed proposals for improving care of patients through a patient-centered practice model called the “medical home” (AAFP, 2004) or “advanced medical home” (ACP, 2006). Similarly the American Academy of Pediatrics has proposed a medical home for children and adolescents with special needs.
AAFP and ACP offer these joint principles that describe the elements of the patient-centered, physician-guided medical home.
Personal physician - each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.
Physician directed medical practice – the personal physician leads a team of individuals at the practice level who collectively take responsibility for the ongoing care of patients.
Whole person orientation – the personal physician is responsible for providing for all the patient’s health care needs or taking responsibility for appropriately arranging care with other qualified professionals. This includes care for all stages of life; acute care; chronic care; preventive services; end of life care.
Care is coordinated and/or integrated across all domains of the health care system (hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes, consultants and other components of the complex health care system), facilitated by registries, information technology, health information exchange and other means to assure that patients get the indicated care when and where they need and want it.
Quality and safety are hallmarks of the medical home:
▪ Evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools guide decision making
▪ Physicians in the practice accept accountability for continuous quality improvement through voluntary engagement in performance measurement and improvement.
▪ Patients actively participate in decision-making and feedback is sought to ensure patients’ expectations are being met
▪ Information technology is utilized appropriately to support optimal patient care, performance measurement, patient education, and enhanced communication
· Practices go through a voluntary recognition process by an appropriate non-governmental entity to demonstrate that they have the capabilities to provide patient centered services consistent with the medical home model.
Enhanced access to care through systems such as open scheduling, expanded hours and new options for communication between patients, their personal physician, and office staff.
Payment appropriately recognizes the added value provided to patients who have a patient-centered medical home. The payment structure should be based on the following framework:
· It should reflect the value of physician and non-physician staff work that falls outside of the face-to-face visit associated with patient-centered care management.
· It should pay for services associated with coordination of care both within a given practice and between consultants, ancillary providers, and community resources.
· It should support adoption and use of health information technology for quality improvement;
· It should support provision of enhanced communication access such as secure e-mail and telephone consultation;
· It should recognize the value of physician work associated with remote monitoring of clinical data using technology.
· It should allow for separate fee-for-service payments for face-to-face visits. (Payments for care management services that fall outside of the face-to-face visit, as described above, should not result in a reduction in the payments for face-to-face visits).
· It should recognize case mix differences in the patient population being treated within the practice.
· It should allow physicians to share in savings from reduced hospitalizations associated with physician-guided care management in the office setting.
· It should allow for additional payments for achieving measurable and continuous quality improvements.