Patient-Centered Medical Home: A Model for Rural Physician Practices and Communities?

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2009
Project completed:
August 2011
In recent years, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and others have promoted a patient-centered practice model" the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) "that delivers patient-centered, physician-guided, cost-efficient, longitudinal care. The 2006 Practice Profile Survey of the AAFP showed considerable variation in adoption of services seen as part of a PCMH, from 12% who use web-based consults or e-visits to 24% who use registries or patient tracking systems to 41% who use electronic medical records to 47% who use chronic disease management. Rural practices will need to meet the expectations inherent in the PCMH model or lose any payment advantage that comes with participating as a PCMH. The goal of this project is to assess rural readiness to adopt services seen as part of a PCMH.

We will analyze questions relevant to the PCMH formation from national surveys and compare the use of various elements of electronic medical records among different categories of rural practices, between urban and rural practices, and among practices with different payer mix. We will design a readiness assessment tool and pilot test the tool with two randomly selected rural primary care practices in each of the nine census divisions. Products will include a policy brief and an issue paper.