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American College of Physicians receives grant to study cost of patient-centered medical home

(Washington) -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has received a Commonwealth Fund grant of nearly $225,000 to study the cost of a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The grant, part of the Commonwealth Funds Patient-Centered Primary Care Initiative, will help underwrite a 10-month study which began in November. ACP committed matching funds late in 2007.

The PCMH is a conceptual model of care whose goal is to put the needs of the patient first. It can be the base from which health care services are coordinated to provide more effective and efficient care to the patient. The PCMH includes using health information technology; coordinating specialty and inpatient care; providing preventive services through health promotion; and using disease management and prevention, health maintenance, behavioral health services, patient education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.

The study -- What Does a Patient-Centered Medical Home Cost? -- will be directed by Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, vice president of ACPs Department of Practice Advocacy and Improvement. The research team will be led by Robert Berenson, MD, FACP, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who is an expert in health care policy, particularly Medicare. Also an experienced internist, Dr. Berenson has served in senior positions in two presidential administrations, including as Acting Deputy Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (the predecessor to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and he has helped organize and manage a successful preferred-provider organization. Dr. Berenson will work with other researchers at the Urban Institute, the Medical Group Management Association and the National Opinion Research Center. ACP has convened a multi-stakeholder advisory committee to help guide the project.

We are very pleased that The Commonwealth Fund is co-funding this important study with ACP and enthusiastic about working with the research team. The concept of the PCMH has been developed, and a process for recognizing practices that are providing care according to the model is being tested, Dr. Barr noted. Understanding the economics of the Patient-Centered Medical Home is essential to the development of payment strategies that support the adoption and spread of the model. The main goal of this research project is to identify the incremental costs of building the medical home in a variety of practice settings.


Contact: David Kinsman
American College of Physicians

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