Guy David, MedCity News, Medical Homes and ER Visits
Published in Health Services Research, the study set out to assess if PCMHs reduced the use of hospital emergency departments among patients with chronic diseases. It found PCMH patient status was associated with a 5-8% reduction in ED visits -- particularly for diabetes and hypertension patients.
No significant change in ED use by PCMH patients was found among those who did not have chronic illnesses.
"One interesting finding," David noted, "is that reductions in ED admissions are not coming necessarily from the fact that medical homes are open for longer hours or are more accessible to patients, but from better management of chronic conditions."
David, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Care Management at Penn's Wharton School.