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A Personal Approach to Care

June 25th, 2009

As health care reform rages through our government, a new and interesting approach to medicine is making it’s appearance as an alternative to making house calls. Coined by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1967, medical homes are systems that provide around the clock access to care using a team of professionals – for example a physician, a nurse practitioner, a dietician, a social worker, and a pharmacist – to cut down on medical costs and improve access to treatment. Using a series of computerized records and electronic communications methods, medical homes help patients get specialty care when they need it and keeps careful track of treatments and progress. For doctors and health care professionals, the system is seamless and easy with contact and access to records always at hand.

According to the New York Times, there are now medical homes in more than a dozen states, many of them serving Medicaid patients. Their proponents say they save money because they focus on prevention and prompt attention to emerging problems, which can prevent costly complications. Some major health insurers are also testing patient-centered medical homes. The medical home concept has also won the support of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association, among others.

Do you feel that medical homes are the future of patient care?

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