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Patients at Health Centers Say They Like PCMH Care

MANAGED CARE February 2014. © MediMedia USA
News & Commentary

Patients at Health Centers Say They Like PCMH Care

Aspects of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model won over a tough audience — those who get care from federally funded health centers — in a recent study in Annals of Family Medicine (AFM).

About 1,100 such centers serve more than 20 million people, 62% of whom are racial or ethnic minorities.

“These high patient ratings among health centers are especially remarkable given that low-income and uninsured patients across the United States generally rate their care much lower,” says the study, “Effects of Patient-Centered Medical Home Attributes on Patients’ Perceptions of Quality in Federally Supported Health Centers,” in the November/December issue of AFM.

The study says that 84% of about 4,500 patients surveyed think that PCMHs provide excellent or very good overall quality, while 81% say that clinician care at PCMHs is excellent or very good.

In contrast, the Commonwealth Fund’s 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey found that only 35% of low-income adults and 27% of uninsured adults report excellent or very good care.

Patient perception counts for a lot. “Measuring patients’ perspectives of quality is important because these subjective measures of satisfaction relate to objective measures of quality,” the study says.

“For instance, patients who view their care positively are more likely to cooperate with their clinicians, and follow recommendations, leading to better outcomes. Patient satisfaction is also associated with greater clinician adherence to clinical practice guidelines, better recovery from symptoms, improved emotional health, and fewer diagnostic tests and referrals.”

The respondents were asked to evaluate seven PCMH attributes:

  • Getting to the center
  • Getting care once they got there
  • Communicating with clinicians
  • Communicating with staff
  • Getting support to self-manage chronic conditions
  • Getting support to self-manage behavioral risks
  • Getting comprehensive preventive care

The data were gathered in face-to-face interviews conducted between September and December 2009.

The authors admit, though, that patient satisfaction might not always be an indication of how well a PCMH performs.

“Indeed, our study found that patients’ reports of certain PCMH attributes (i.e., self-management support for chronic diseases and behavioral risks, comprehensive preventive services) were generally not associated with patients’ ratings of quality.”

Meetings

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Contracting Conference Philadelphia, PA September 22–23, 2014
Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014