Home Calls

Source: By PENELOPE LEMOV, Governing, November 2008

A new idea is being touted as the next cure-all for the ills of the health care system. But it’s not clear yet what a ‘medical home’ is.

….. Even the experts touting this concept are tripping over the definition. When Health Affairs, the prestigious health care journal, led off its September/October issue with “Building the Medical Home,” the editors admitted in their introduction that “it’s hard to pin down exactly what ‘medical home’ means.” Robert Berenson, one of the article’s authors, gave it a try: “A medical home in broad terms,” he wrote, “is a physician-directed practice that provides care that is ‘accessible, continuous, comprehensive and coordinated, and delivered in the context of family and community.'” To amplify that definition, Berenson noted that the interest in medical homes stems from a growing recognition “that even patients with insurance coverage might not have an established source of access to basic primary care services and that care fragmentation affects the quality and cost of care.”

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