A Prestigious Designation: Be Well Medical Center is a Patient-Centered Medical Home
Be Well Medical Center has been designated as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. It is a standard of healthcare excellence and adherence to PCMH-designated practices. The concept of a “patient-centered medical home” goes back to 1967 (when it was referred to as a “medical home”), but its relevance increased substantially with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act starting in 2010, which incentivized practices to adopt this health care philosophy.
In a nutshell, in order to be designated a patient-centered medical home, a family care or primary care practice must embody certain principles in its approach to health care:
Patient-centered: Health care is a partnership among practitioners, patients, and their families, and ensures that decisions respect patients’ wants, needs, and preferences, and that patients have the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.
Comprehensive: A team of care providers is wholly accountable for a patient’s physical and mental health care needs, including prevention and wellness, acute care, and chronic care.
Coordinated: Care is organized across all elements of the broader health care system, including specialty care, hospitals, home health care, community services and supports.
Accessible: Patients are able to access services with shorter waiting times, “after hours” care, 24/7 electronic or telephone access, and strong communication through health IT innovations.
Quality and safety: Clinicians and staff enhance quality improvement to ensure that patients and families make informed decisions about their health.
In order for a practice to maintain its status as a patient-centered medical home, it must show that it is meeting certain initiatives concerning preventive medicine and quality of care. For example, there are certain best practices when it comes to treating a condition such as diabetes, which include providing certain information to the patient, ensuring that certain tests are done within a certain time frame, etc. A practice must be able to document that it is following these best practices.
Dr. Benson believes that medicine as a profession is trending ever more toward altering physician compensation to incentivize medical practices to conform to standards deemed best by the government and/or insurance companies and other payers, and that this is a good thing because achieving the standards mandated by the patient-centered medical home concept and other such programs can improve how physicians do their job. It means focusing on prevention, following up with your patients and staying on top of everything they need, communicating effectively with them, meticulously keeping track of all that you do with thorough and accurate records, etc.—all things that physicians should have already been doing even before the advent of such programs.
The Be Well Medical Center is proud to have earned, and to have successfully maintained, certification as a patient-centered medical home, as a manifestation of its commitment to providing the best available care to its patients.