To measure the readiness of rural primary care practices
to qualify as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), one
step toward participating in changes underway in healthcare finance and delivery.
We used the 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey to
compare PCMH readiness scores among metropolitan and
nonmetropolitan primary care practices. The National
Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) assessment system
served as a framework to assess the PCMH capabilities of
primary care practices based on their services,
processes, and policies.
We found little difference between urban and rural
practices. Approximately 41% of all primary care
practices offer minimal or no PCMH services. We also
found that large practices score higher on standards
primarily related to information technology and care
Achieving the benefits of the PCMH model in small rural
practices may require additional national promotion,
technical assistance, and financial incentives.