A New Foundation for the Delivery and Financing of American Health Care

Fam Med. 2015 Sep;47(8):612-9.


For the past decade, primary care practices across America have worked to implement a practice model called the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) to revitalize practice, better support clinicians and patients, improve efficiency, and facilitate growth in primary care capacity. In spite of substantial progress, this work has not been matched by sufficient change in the payment system to allow these goals to be accomplished. Nevertheless, improving the quality and availability of primary care remains essential to achieving the goals of the Triple Aim (better health care, better population health, and containment of health care costs). For this to occur, the PCMH model of care must be further refined, and the payment system for primary care must be completely restructured. The need for these changes is urgent. In October 2014, the discipline of family medicine announced a comprehensive strategic plan called Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAHealth). FMAHealth proposes to expand the PCMH care model by fully integrating our nation's behavioral/mental health, public health, and primary care systems to create a new foundation for American health care. Accomplishing these ambitious goals will require a broad coalition of private and public interests across the health care disciplines as well as patients, communities, government, and businesses. These changes require additional infrastructure that existing financing systems do not adequately support, so comprehensive payment reform is essential for large-scale dissemination and sustainability of this model. The new payment model must reward value rather than volume of service and must provide a secure financial foundation for practices designed to care for patients and communities at affordable costs.

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cost Control
  • Family Practice / economics
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care / economics
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Population Dynamics
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / economics
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / organization & administration*
  • United States