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Medical homes deliver on quality but not yet on cost

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 18, 2013

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Patient-centered medical homes deliver slightly better care in areas such as patient satisfaction and preventive care, but strong evidence on cost savings has yet to emerge, said a systematic review published Feb. 5 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined 19 studies comparing clinics that adopted medical home features such as team-based care and extended office hours with practices lacking such elements. They found that patients cared for in medical homes were 19% less likely to visit the emergency department and saw moderate improvements in patient satisfaction and receipt of preventive care services.

The picture on costs, however, was more mixed. Some research found lower total medical expenses after a year, while other studies found that the costs of implementing the medical homes raised overall costs, said the Annals article (link).

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