Background: The patient centered medical home has received considerable attention as a potential way to improve primary care quality and limit cost growth. Little information exists that systematically compares PCMH pilot projects across the country.
Design: Cross-sectional key-informant interviews.
Participants: Leaders from existing PCMH demonstration projects with external payment reform.
Measurements: We used a semi-structured interview tool with the following domains: project history, organization and participants, practice requirements and selection process, medical home recognition, payment structure, practice transformation, and evaluation design.
Results: A total of 26 demonstrations in 18 states were interviewed. Current demonstrations include over 14,000 physicians caring for nearly 5 million patients. A majority of demonstrations are single payer, and most utilize a three component payment model (traditional fee for service, per person per month fixed payments, and bonus performance payments). The median incremental revenue per physician per year was $22,834 (range $720 to $91,146). Two major practice transformation models were identified--consultative and implementation of the chronic care model. A majority of demonstrations did not have well-developed evaluation plans.
Conclusion: Current PCMH demonstration projects with external payment reform include large numbers of patients and physicians as well as a wide spectrum of implementation models. Key questions exist around the adequacy of current payment mechanisms and evaluation plans as public and policy interest in the PCMH model grows.