There's more than one way to build a medical home

Am J Manag Care. 2014 Dec 1;20(12):e582-9.


Objectives: The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a critical aspect of delivery system reform. The purpose of this study was to examine variations in achievement of PCMH requirements across different types of practices.

Study design: We used data on the points awarded, by standard and element, to 2369 practices recognized by September 2013 under the National Committee for Quality Assurance PCMH program, 2011 version.

Methods: We tested for differences across practice types in the percentage of practices achieving full credit for 27 element scores using likelihood ratio χ2 tests with an adjustment for multiple comparisons.

Results: Of the practices, 45% were affiliated with health systems, 22.6% were community health centers, and 5.3% were military treatment facilities. The remaining practices were physician-owned, 10% with at least 5 clinicians and 17.3% with less than 5. Even among Level 3 practices, there were significant differences across the practice types in the percentage of practices achieving full credit for 19 of 27 elements. Different types of practices demonstrated strengths in different medical home capabilities.

Conclusions: Even among practices with the highest level of PCMH achievement, there are variations in key medical home capabilities. While research is needed to identify PCMH components having the greatest impact on outcomes, this research shows that the NCQA model is flexible enough to adapt to the strengths and needs of practices and the patients they serve. Efforts to support widespread dissemination of the PCMH model and practice transformation should recognize and build on these variations.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Centers / organization & administration
  • Delivery of Health Care / methods
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine / methods
  • Military Medicine / organization & administration
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration
  • United States