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Medical Vocabulary - What is a "medical home?"

April 21, 2016

Patient-Centered Medical Home (noun) – a patient-centered medical home is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into "what patients want it to be." Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care.

Did you know?

Most Baystate Medical Practices primary care sites have been officially recognized as Patient-Centered Medical Homes. We have transformed our practices to medical homes using the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) model.

“The important objectives of the medical home model include delivering better quality, easily accessed care at an affordable cost. Patients should expect a greater opportunity to participate in their own care, enabled by enhanced access to their own vital health information and increased availability to their health care team. From our perspective as a health system, we recognize the benefits of reporting our performance for the public to view, and the medical home model positions us well to become a leading health system in the country by 2020,” said Dr. Glenn F. Alli, medical director, Primary Care Service Line, Baystate Health.

What a Medical Home means for you:

• Patient-Centered – Each patient has an ongoing relationship with their own personal physician who provides comprehensive care, understanding and respecting the patient's unique needs, culture, values, and preferences.

• Comprehensive Care – Your personal physician leads a team of healthcare providers onsite at the practice and coordinates with others offsite – including other doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, care managers, pharmacists, nutritionists, behavioral health specialists, social workers, educators, and care coordinators – and together they take responsibility for the ongoing care of the patient. This includes care for all stages of life: acute care, chronic care, preventive services, and end-of-life care.

• Coordinated Care – Your personal physician is responsible for or arranges care with other qualified professionals across the complex healthcare system, including specialty care, hospitals, home healthcare, and community services and supports, with clear and open communication between all providers, patients and families.

• Quality and safety – Having patients actively involved in decision making, using evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools to guide decision making, and expecting physicians in the practice to be accountable for continuous quality improvement.

• Enhanced access to services – You will find that the practice you visit has shorter waiting times, including same day access, expanded hours, around-the-clock telephone or electronic access to a member of the healthcare team, and alternative methods of communication, such as e-mail and telephone care.

What you need to do:

In order for the medical home to function effectively, patients need to provide their doctor with a complete medical history and information about care obtained outside of the practice.

Photo: Dr. Phanthila "Sing" Singhaviranon stands in a "medical home" with Pedro Rosado and his two children, Janiliz, 10, and Jan 11, who are cared for at Baystate High Street Health Center - Pediatrics, where she is the Provider Leader for their medical home.