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“Patient-Centered” Patient-Centered Medical Homes

[The following post was written by Erica Brode, ITUP intern]

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) places a strong emphasis on illness prevention, health promotion, and management of chronic conditions, and the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) has taken a front row seat in health reform nomenclature. In particular, the ACA requires some Medicaid enrollees to be in a “health home,” invests in primary care and family medicine, and initiates Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) for Medicare.

While many are excited by the PCMH concept, providers and policy makers are concerned because of the lack of consensus on its definition. Political task forces and major provider organizations are researching and discussing the specific requirements and goals that these entities should strive to achieve.

But what if the answer is in our own backyard? For instance, when reforming a community clinic, why wouldn’t one start by asking what the community wants from their clinic?

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