Next month, a group of doctors in Michigan will earn the prestigious designation known as Patient-Centered Medical Home (or PCMH). And that means Michiganders will have even more primary care physician options if they want to be part of a PCMH. That’s great news—but only if you know what PCMH means and how it can help you manage your health care. A PCMH is a health care team, led by a primary care physician, that works together with all your health care providers—nurses, specialists, care managers, nutritionists, behavioral health providers and hospitals—to keep you healthy through coordinated, high-quality care. To earn PCMH designation, doctors change their processes and procedures so they can be completely focused on the most important part of your health care: you. That might mean they offer extended hours for patient appointments, personalized tracking of test results or individual care management, which focuses on one-on-one consultations and personal attention from your doctor. Curious about why you might want a PCMH doctor? Here are just a few of the benefits:
- You’ll be a priority: With the PCMH model of care, developing a trusting relationship with your health care team is one of the main benefits. Your team talks to each other and ensures everyone is on the same page, meaning you don’t have to worry about keeping your doctors up to date on your care. This type of quality, personalized care can result in early diagnosis and treatment of health issues, and help you avoid emergency room visits and hospital stays.
- You’ll have an entire team on your side: When doctors, nurses, specialty physicians, pharmacists and nutritionists work together, you can expect close collaboration. For example, if you need a referral to another doctor, PCMH physicians recommend who to see, making medical care as convenient as possible, and saving you time.
- You have options: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s PCMH designation program is the largest of its kind in the nation. There are currently more than 4,300 physicians who are in a PCMH practice in 78 of Michigan’s 83 counties—and that number is going to keep growing. That means more than 1.2 million Blue Cross members have access to one of our PCMH-designated practices, proving that specialized, coordinated care is becoming the norm across the state due to the benefits the model has provided to members.
- You’ll save money: Timely preventive care means less expensive medical treatment and lowers the risk for serious and sometimes life-threatening illnesses. Over the past six years, Blue Cross estimates its PCMH program has avoided up to $427 million in costs—likely due to members receiving the right care at the right time.
For more about Patient-Centered Medical Homes, see these frequently asked questions. To find a doctor who is part of a PCMH, visit bcbsm.com and click on “Find a Doctor,” then check the “Patient-Centered Medical Home” option to narrow your choices. Learn more about how a PCMH can improve your health care by reading these other blogs: