Overall, though, the pilot has helped Penobscot refocus efforts toward treating the whole person, says Allen.
“The medical home concept has a warm feel to it, too,” adds Worchester. “But now we also have more eyes looking at things. Between the care managers, the health coaches, nurses, and physicians, we can spot gaps in care and identify and treat all of the patient’s needs.”
While the financial benefits and long-term viability of the medical home is still unclear, those practices that participate in the pilots say the benefit to their patients’ overall health is generally positive. As hospitals and health systems press onward into the next era of healthcare reimbursement, this is certain: The fee-for-service methodology won’t help the patient’s health improve or the health of the bottom line.