Medical Home: A New Model of Caregiving – AARP Bulletin Today

  • Medical Home: A New Model of Caregiving – AARP Bulletin Today – More coverage of Group Health Cooperative's patient-centered medical home:

    "“Why don’t you come in?” says Shriver, a family physician who is chief of staff at Group Health Cooperative’s Factoria clinic in Bellevue, Wash. He schedules an appointment for 2 p.m. that day.

    Few Americans can get their doctor on the phone immediately and schedule a same-day appointment. But Shriver’s clinic lets patients phone and e-mail their doctors directly to discuss medical concerns and book visits on short notice.

    That’s part of Group Health’s successful two-year experiment with one of the hottest concepts in health care delivery: a patient-centered practice often called a “medical home.”


Boy, am I glad to hear this concept getting some traction. I urge anyone who's not familiar with it to review the PCPCC slides on my post last May.

You mentioned in October that the concept has a name problem; some people think it means "nursing home." Last week at a meeting I discovered a different misunderstanding: several people thought it meant a medically-enabled home, thus keeping elderly people out of nursing homes. Arg! The art of the meme.

Anyway, as those slides show, the real concept of medical home (as promoted by PCPCC) is:

– Personal physician

– Team based practice

– Whole person orientation

– Care is integrated or coordinated

– Quality & safety

– Enhanced access to care

– Payment reform

How does that sync with Group Health's plan?

The principles you list Ted are very consistent with what we have tested in our pilot, are building on a Lean plateform for spread and are systematically moving across all 26 of our PC clinics. I have begun to refer to our work as 'reinventing primary care" and subtext is via a "medical home model of care." The medical home term works for policy makers and not for patients as you mention.

Group Health is in support payment reform and we are beginning to frame how we support new primary care model in our networks beyond the group practice, as a "Health Plan" we have a role to play here as well.

Thank you Michael!

For those who may not know, Michael Erikson is the Primary Care Administrator for Group Health Cooperative.

I encourage people to subscribe to the Reinventing Primary Care Blog : Medical Home to follow Group Health's work. You'll see a heavy dose of LEAN (Toyota Management System) which supports an approach that honors the patient/member and those who care for them, supported by a world-class technology infrastructure.

Ted Eytan, MD