Four-year evolution of a large, state-wide patient-centered medical home designation program in Michigan

Med Care. 2013 Sep;51(9):846-53. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31829fa8c1.


Background: The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) has been recognized as a strategy to redesign and improve the delivery of primary health care. Collaboration between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and 39 Physician Organizations in Michigan laid the foundation for a state-wide medical home program.

Objective: The objective of the study was to describe a unique methodology developed and implemented by BCBSM to designate primary care physician practices as medical homes.

Methods: Since 2009, practices were designated annually as medical homes on the basis of (1) implementation of PCMH-related capabilities, and (2) performance on quality-of-care and health resource utilization measures. An overall score for each practice was calculated. Practices were ranked relative to each other, with the top portion of the continuum representing an achievable level of performance.

Results: The number of practices designated as medical homes more than tripled since the program's inception: 302 (1283 physicians) in 2009, 513 (1876 physicians) in 2010, 772 (2547 physicians) in 2011, and 994 (3028 physicians) in 2012. Designated practices reported implementing more than double the PCMH capabilities of nondesignated practices, yet all practices increased their number of implemented capabilities during the 4 years.

Discussion: This program represents the largest state-based PCMH program in the United States. Over the 4-year period, 1130 unique practices have received designation, representing 3469 unique physicians. An estimated 1.4 million BCBSM members in Michigan received care from these practices. This program will continue to develop, drawing on changes in the health system landscape, collaboration with the physician community, and knowledge gained from PCMH evaluations.

MeSH terms

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Plans / economics
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Plans / organization & administration*
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Michigan
  • Patient-Centered Care / economics
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*