College of Community Health Sciences faculty and staff, along with healthcare providers from Tuscaloosa and across the state, gathered for a two-day study and discussion on the Patient-Centered Medical Home.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a model of primary care delivery that is patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, accessible and focuses on quality and safety, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The College hosted the conference “Building the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Inspiration and Tools to Help Transform Your Practice” on July 25 and 26 at Hotel Capstone on The University of Alabama campus. The conference was held to educate physicians and other health-care providers on how to incorporate this model into their medical practices.
“It’s about moving forward,” said Richard Streiffer, MD, Dean of the College, in his welcoming address. “That’s really what this conference is all about. It’s about moving forward as a College and a community with this concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.“
The conference featured experts in the concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), implementers of pilot programs, leaders in family- and patient-centered health care and experts in the business side of the PCMH.
One of those speakers was Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, global director of Healthcare Transformation at IBM, where he develops strategies to shift health care delivery toward consumer-focused, primary-care based systems through the adoption of new philosophies, primary care pilot programs, new incentive systems and the information technology required to implement such changes. As a founding father of the PCMH, Grundy said that the medical home it isn’t a literal home for patients, but rather for data.
“Data is now made available, and it has to go somewhere and be acted on. And there has to be accountability that it is being acted on.”
Acting on that data means that every patient has a health-care plan that is managed by a team of providers, which overall, leads to promoting a healthy population, Grundy said. Another part of the PCMH is the idea of a medical neighborhood, Grundy said, or a model where primary care physicians work with specialists to provide comprehensive care for patients.
“This is not just about health care,” Grundy said. “This is about value for your state and for your community.”
The second plenary speaker at the conference was Beverley Johnson, president and CEO of the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care in Bethseda, Md. Johnson served as a project director for a multi-year initiative to develop resource materials for senior leaders in hospital, ambulatory and long-term care settings on how to partner with patients and families to enhance the quality, safety and experience of care. In her talk, she focused on both patient-centered and family-centered health care and how the PCMH is a culture shift in health care.
“This is about culture change—it’s about the work you’re going to do together to profoundly change the culture of health-care organizations.”
Melly Goodell, MD, chair of Family Medicine at MedStar Franklin Square in Baltimore, MD, oversaw the 2011 achievement by MedStar’s Family Health Center of Level III NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home status and the center’s acceptance as one of the 50 statewide practices into Maryland’s three-year PCMH Pilot Program, so she spoke about the process of changing into a PCMH as the morning plenary speech for the second day of the conference.
“[Change] is hard,” she said. “But you really do need to have an approach and some guiding principles around change.
Michael Canfield, MD, associate chief of staff of Ambulatory Care for the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System in Montgomery, Ala., gave the lunchtime plenary speech later that day. Canfield worked as a family physician and was a partner with Palmetto Primary Care Physicians in Summerville, S.C. Palmetto is an organization of more than 90 physicians and 650 clinical and support staff who practice primary and specialty care at 32 offices in South Carolina.
Canfield talked about the business side of the PCMH model. He outlined the keys to success for Palmetto.
“The quality of the care of patients is the cornerstone of the group.” Canfield said. “And corporate decisions must have the consensus of the group and be for the good for the group.”
Other speakers included Mary Coleman, MD, PhD, professor of family medicine and director of community health clinics at Louisiana State University School of Medicine, who spoke about population and patient-care management; Melanie Tucker, PhD, assistant professor of Community and Rural Medicine and director of clinical investigations at the College, who spoke on leading patients to better health through health coaching; Sylvia Brown, executive director of Gulf Coast Patient Care Network, and Chelley Alexander, associate professor and chair of Family Medicine at the College, both of whom spoke about innovative care delivery.
At the end of the conference, Candice Biby, program coordinator for Family Medicine at the College, hosted a question-and-answer session about NCQA certification.
The College also hosted an evening event on Friday night at Hotel Capstone that was open to the public. “Better Care, Better Value: The Business Case for the Patient-Centered Medical Home,” started with remarks by Grundy and featured a discussion panel about the business side of the PCMH and included Grundy, Goodell, Kathleen Bowen, MD, medical director of BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, and Robert Moon, MD, chief medical officer for Alabama Medicaid.