Practices and changes associated with patient-centered medical home transformation

Am J Manag Care. 2021 Sep;27(9):386-393. doi: 10.37765/ajmc.2021.88740.


Objectives: Knowing which patient-centered medical home (PCMH) care delivery changes and quality improvement (QI) practices further PCMH implementation is essential.

Study design: We used the 2008-2017 National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA) PCMH directory of 15,188 primary care practices that received Level 1, 2, or 3 NCQA PCMH recognition to construct a stratified national sample of 105 practices engaged in PCMH transformation. We examined their QI practices and PCMH changes associated with PCMH transformation.

Methods: We derived QI practice and PCMH change variables from semistructured interviews. Practice leaders completed the PCMH Assessment (PCMH-A) measuring the practice's degree of PCMH implementation, which is a proxy for patient-centeredness. Controlling for practice characteristics, we regressed PCMH-A scores on QI practice and PCMH change variables.

Results: Practices undergoing PCMH transformation nationwide most commonly made care delivery changes in access and continuity of care. To improve quality, practices most commonly engaged in discussing and targeting areas of patient experience improvement, trending performance, and conducting targeted QI. However, practices lower in patient-centeredness as measured by the PCMH-A were more likely to engage in efforts to improve patient experiences, such as reviewing patient experience data or engaging in 1-on-1 provider counseling related to patient interactions. Mature PCMH practices focused on changes in continuity of care.

Conclusions: Practices undertake a wide variety of care delivery changes and QI practices simultaneously to meet PCMH requirements. The patient experience-specific QI practices and PCMH care delivery changes that practices make to improve patient-centeredness differ by years of PCMH recognition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Quality Improvement