Medical Homes Make Connections

Our large and complicated health care system can often be difficult for patients to navigate. With dozens of medical specialties, providers and treatment options to consider, it’s no surprise that many people are unsure where to turn for guidance.

One way for patients to receive the most comprehensive and connected care is to ensure they are part of a “medical home.” Medical homes, typically led by a primary care provider such as a physician or nurse practitioner, help improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs by coordinating care delivered by different providers, including:

  • Hospitals

  • Home health care services

  • Specialists

  • Pharmacists

  • Retail clinics

  • Community and social services

This model focuses on collaboration, coordination and communication among patients and their providers, which can help patients stay healthier and save money.

Improved Outcomes, Lower Costs

In addition to reducing complexity for the patient, team-based, patient-centered care models have been proven to:

  • Reduce hospital and emergency department visits

  • Mitigate health disparities

  • Increase access to care in underserved areas

  • Enhance the quality of care provided to patients.1

Furthermore, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that care delivered to patients in a medical home setting is associated with better medication adherence.2 Taking medications as prescribed, particularly as it relates to patients with chronic diseases, is a key quality measure and is also proven to reduce unnecessary health care spending.

The Integrated Medical Neighborhood

By forging clinical-community partnerships, such as between doctors’ offices, hospitals, and long-term care organizations on the medical side and community centers, schools, and public health agencies on the social side, information is able to flow more freely across the “medical neighborhood.” This helps to improve both individual patient care, and population health. With the expansion of these types of medical home initiatives in recent years, the hope is that increased coordination of diverse care needs promotes better care, prevention and reduces overall health costs to patients and the health system.3

Our Commitment to Connecting Care

As part of our commitment to increasing coordination of care between different parts of the health care system, CVS Health has partnered with the Health is Primary campaign in collaboration with Family Medicine for America’s Health. The partnership, which launched in 2015, educates patients about the value of a medical neighborhood and encourages greater collaboration between primary care providers and retail pharmacies and clinics, including CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic.

For more information about our continued support of primary care access and increased coordination within patients’ medical homes and throughout the medical neighborhood, visit our Health Care Delivery and Innovation information center.

1 NCQA - http://www.ncqa.org/programs/recognition/practices/pcmh-evidence
2 Lauffenburger, et al. Annals of Internal Medicine. “Association Between Patient-Centered Medical Homes and Adherence to Chronic Disease Medications.” Published 15 November 2016.
Common Wealth Fund - http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/in-the-literature/2014/oct/...