Health care today must be accountable for outcomes, costs, and patient experiences—commonly called the Triple Aim. A promising new model of care that addresses the Triple Aim is the Patient Centered Medical Home.
The Medical Home model helps primary care offices reorganize into teams to ensure patients receive the evidence-based care they should, coordinate patient care across specialties and facilities, support patients in their self-care, use technology to order and track patient tests, referrals, and medicines, and continually measure, monitor, and improve quality and patient satisfaction.
Although the Medical Home model is being tested in hundreds of primary care practices across the U.S., to date, just 5% of the nation’s 353,000 primary care physicians have been involved in a Medical Home initiative.
In an effort to spread the model and better support primary care practices in making these changes, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has chosen 4 states (PA, NC, NM, OK) to lay the groundwork for a Primary Care Extension Service. The model for the Primary Care Extension Service is the highly successful agricultural Cooperative Extension. The work in Pennsylvania is called PA SPREAD: Pennsylvania Spreading Primary Care Enhanced Delivery Infrastructure.
Currently, PA SPREAD is working with the PA Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to support 19 practices in South Central and North West PA in becoming Medical Homes.
PA SPREAD also is looking to assist 3 other states (NJ, NY, VT) in developing the infrastructure for the Primary Care Extension Service.
The PA SPREAD project is now certified to award credit to participating practices based on their attendance of activities.