Research Alert: February 28, 2018

Rural Family Physicians in Patient Centered Medical Homes Have a Broader Scope of Practice

The objective of this research was to determine whether rural family physicians who work in a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) practice have a broader scope of practice than those not in PCMH practices. We found evidence that the PCMH model is, in general, associated with rural family physicians providing more services and procedures. The main diverging finding was that rural family physicians practicing in PCMHs reported lower rates of providing inpatient care and inpatient-related procedures. The PCMH model appears to be increasing the scope of ambulatory healthcare services available to rural patients. Supporting rural practices that wish to transform to the PCMH model to improve care and access will be essential to meeting patient needs. With strong evidence that overall healthcare costs and hospitalization rates are lower when physicians have a broader scope of practice, including inpatient care, determining how to best structure care by rural family physicians in all care settings will be essential.

Contact Information:

Lars E. Peterson, MD, PhD
Rural and Underserved Health Research Center
Phone: 859.269.5626 ext. 1457

Additional Resources of Interest: