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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: April 5, 2011
Arkansas Blues Taps Seven Medical Practices For Pilot Program

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield has chosen seven existing Arkansas medical practices to serve in a patient-centered medical home pilot program.

The patient-centered medical home encourages a partnership between patients and doctors in it:

  • Each patient has an ongoing relationship with his or her primary care doctor who provides personalized comprehensive care.
  • The doctor will lead a team of health care professionals who will take responsibility for ongoing care.
  • The doctor’s practice will be responsible for providing or arranging for the health care needs of each patient based on evidence-based medicine (treatments that have been proven to work).
  • Special attention will be paid to providing patients with preventive care and chronic illness support and management as well as better access to care.
  • Enhanced patient education will be provided to help patients adopt healthy lifestyles and better understand and manage their illnesses.

"This model has potential to change the very culture of how patients and health care professionals interact," said Dr. Roberta Monson, an associate medical director for Arkansas Blue Cross. "It’s an exciting time for patients in these practices because it could ultimately change how Arkansans receive care."

By using a team approach, medical homes can be sure patients are cared for by the team member who can best meet their needs. The team may include advanced practice nurses, dietitians, pharmacists and other health care professionals as well as their physician. By using electronic health records, all team members will have information at their fingertips to provide the best care.

In many situations medical homes have provided better access to health care, more satisfied patients, and improved health. The pilot programs will examine if this is possible in primary care practices in Arkansas.

The seven patient-centered medical homes will be piloted for two years and, if successful, other locations may be added. The clinics selected to become medical homes already are established practices and have chosen to adapt their practices to the requirements of medical homes and to provide information for tracking their progress. This information will include measures of quality, access to care and satisfaction.

Monson said Arkansas Blue Cross decided to become involved in patient-centered medical homes after recognizing that Arkansas, and the United States overall, is experiencing a decline in the number of primary care doctors. Studies show that states with more primary care doctors tend to have more satisfied patients and deliver higher quality care.

Address: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, P.O. Box 2181, Little Rock, AR 72203-2181; (800) 238-8379, www.arkbluecross.com.


  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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