Opportunities for social workers in the patient centered medical home.
Strengthening primary care may improve health outcomes and restrain spending. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model is endorsed as a tool to achieve this. Early evaluations in large group practices demonstrate improvements in some health outcomes. Evidence is lacking from small medical practices that deliver the majority of primary health care. This was a national survey of 200 physicians that explored perceptions of PCMH. There was considerable interest in adoption of the model; however, providing PCMH care was seen as an extension of traditional roles that requires additional reimbursement. No differentiation was made among a variety of payment models to do this. All joint principle components of the model were identified as important: extending access and information technology were the most contentious. There was consensus that PCMH might improve the quality of primary care; however, tension between wider societal benefits and rising costs for individual practices was a challenge to implementation.