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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: March 1, 2011
Maryland Unveils Patient-Centered Medical Home Program

Baltimore, Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, speaking before a symposium of physicians and nurse practitioners, encouraged the audience to participate in a new patient-centered medical home (PCMH) program. The program was created through legislation championed by Brown, passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The program will allow Maryland to move forward with health care reform, improve the quality of care and reduce costs by providing physicians with incentives to spend more time with patients, coordinate care and promote prevention and wellness, Brown said. It will allow the state to "diverge from a reactive health care environment and advance a practical, proactive way of providing improved health care for our residents," he added.

PCMHs provide advanced primary care through a team of health professionals, guided by a personal physician. Their focus is to provide patients with continuous, comprehensive and coordinated care in a culturally and linguistically sensitive manner.

The Maryland Health Care Commission will oversee the program that initially involved 50 practices, 200 physicians and reached approximately 200,000 Marylanders.

The Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council, chaired by Brown, is charged with identifying ways to improve the quality of health care across the state and lowering the cost of care for all Marylanders. Last year the council implemented the Hand Hygiene Collaborative that aims to prevent hospital-acquired infections.

"The medical home model aims to improve patient health and elevate the role of the primary care provider in our health system," said Maryland Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary John M. Colmers.

Geisinger Community Practice Service Line in Pennsylvania implemented the concept four years ago and the results have improved quality of care and provider satisfaction.

"Our results show a sustained reduction in hospital readmissions by 40 percent, statistically significant improvements in chronic disease and preventive care measures, patient satisfaction and professional satisfaction," said Dr. Thomas Graf, chair of the Geisinger Service Line.

PCMH pilot programs are underway in over 20 states, including a nine-practice pilot established in Maryland in 2009.

Address: Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council, 201 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201; (877) 463-3464, http://dhmh.maryland.gov/mhqcc/.


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