To explore perceptions of high-risk patients and their practice staff on the patient-centered medical home, we conducted a multisite qualitative study with chronically ill, low-income patients and their primary care practice staff (N = 51). There were 3 key findings. Both patients and staff described a trade-off: timely care from an unfamiliar provider versus delayed access to their personal physician. Staff were enthusiastic about enhancing access through strategies such as online communication, yet high-risk patients viewed these as access barriers. Practices lacked capacity to manage high-risk patients and therefore frequently referred them to the emergency room.