With help from a federal grant that reimburses healthcare providers based on factors other than face-to-face visits, OU is implementing a new model of primary care: the patient-centered medical home.
“Patients are beginning to experience that they belong, or are a member, an engaged member of a medical team,” said Dr. Daniel Duffy, Dean of the OU School of Community Medicine, “and are seeing a variety of health providers in a visit.”
The model is based on a team of providers, rather than a single doctor.
“The physician is a leader of that particular team, but people get what they need,” he said, “rather than have to have a disease that they’re focused on.”
“So it really focuses on prevention and chronic care management,” he said.
Duffy says that the change has been challenging, but it’s paying off: the OU School of Community Medicine and four OU Physicians teaching clinics recently received the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s highest level of recognition for quality of primary health care.
Grant Money for Comprehensive Primary Care
Tulsa was recently named to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’s Comprehensive Primary Care initiative, which Duffy says has helped OU implement the patient-centered medical home model.
A group of primary care providers in Tulsa received the grant from CMS that reimburses practices on a per-member, per-month basis, instead of a fee-for-service system.
“It pays the practice to manage patients, so that patients can be seen by other people—pharmacists, nurse care managers, social workers—depending on the needs that that individual patient has,” he said.
“The CPCi grant really depends on practices adopting the patient-centered medical home approach to care,” Duffy said. He says OU has been focused on implementing that model for a while now.
“What the CPCi grant permitted us to do was actually recoup some of the investment we had already made,” he said, “in transforming our practices to the medical home, and it gives us an opportunity to being to experience what a different payment structure will be like.”