Medical Team Assemble
We don’t grow old alone; we grow old as a community.
With the number of Minnesotans over 65 expected to double to 1.4 million by 2035, health care policymakers face real challenges delivering cost effective care, according Minnesota’s Department of Health, which says the current health delivery model is not properly equipped to deal with the unique needs of this growing population.
Medical home is one possible tool that could help Minnesota’s medical community adapt to the times. This new delivery method calls on medical professionals to form teams to better coordinate patients’ care.
While the concept is still relatively new, the early pilot data is promising. A Health Affairs study found that, two years in, patients reported higher satisfaction with the care they received. It also showed the clinical quality of care improved faster than in non-medical home clinics. Furthermore, for every dollar invested in medical homes, $1.50 was saved.
In order to utilize medical homes, we need to develop a much more robust information technology (IT) infrastructure allowing medical professionals to share information effectively across multiple providers. Done effectively, it’s a real game changer.
The other aspect that medical homes require is professionals trained to communicate with one another. No technology can compensate for poor teamwork.
Medical homes are the next generation of health care delivery and it offers a huge opportunity to reform our health care delivery system. Before we fully commit to medical homes, the proper preparation must be taken. But the potential of medical homes shows the future can be just as sunny as it will be grey.