The Patient Centered Medical Home is a very important model of care that has been growing in popularity across the nation. The PCMH is not a specific place but more a model of care focused on accessible, coordinated, comprehensive, and patient-centered care. medication adherencePCMHs are committed to quality and safety. The PCMH model is a great way for primary care organizations to put a stronger emphasis on care coordination and communication, which in turn helps transform primary care to be more patient-centered.

The NCQA recently reported that a study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that “care received in a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is linked to better medication adherence.”

Improving medication adherence is a constant struggle for both payer and providers. It’s estimated that 20% to 50%  of patients are non-adherent. We need to remember that the patient isn’t the only responsible for medication adherence, the health care providers play a large role as well.  From social economic factors to healthcare system factors, the reasons behind medication adherence aren’t easily defined or easily remedied.

The recent Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School study involved NCQA recognized PCMHs who “started common medications for chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia) between 2011 and 2013.”

The study found…

  • Adherence rates were 64% among medical home patients and 59% among control patients. Medication adherence was 2%–3% higher in medical homes than non-medical home practices
  • “Receipt of care in a patient-centered medical home is associated with better adherence, a vital measure of health care quality, among patients initiating treatment with medications for common high-cost chronic diseases¹.”

If you are thinking about making the transition to a PCMH mode, you may also want to investigate more about accreditation. The NCQA has developed a PCMH recognition program to help ensure PCMH standards are met. The NCQA recognition can also act as a roadmap to care delivery model itself. According to the NCQA, greater than 10% of primary care practices in the United States already meet the requirements to be recognized as a PCMH.

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