Military Redefines Medical Home Model

Anthony Brino | Healthcare IT News | November 12, 2013

Patient-centered medical home models, an approach to care underpinned by healthcare IT, being tested in the Military Health System could offer lessons in team-based care for civilian providers, who are similarly challenged by an aging population with complex chronic conditions, according to researchers writing in Health Affairs.

The MHS’s nascent medical homes were created in 2009 in response to a “crisis in patient perception” among the system’s 9.6 million beneficiaries, 47 percent of whom said they were dissatisfied with MHS care, compared to 32 percent of patients at civilian facilities -- at the same time that military health costs have been rising even faster than the country’s as a whole, accounting for 6.2 percent of the Defense Department’s budget.

Now researchers are waiting for the results of patient-centered medical home models implemented both in civilian healthcare and in the MHS, and one large factor may end up being scope-of-practice, as Benjamin F. Mundell, a U.S. Air Force captain, and colleagues at the Rand Corporation and the Mayo Clinic, wrote in Health Affairs.