Patient-centered healthcare being offered to more Ohioans

COLUMBUS, OH (Press release) - The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced Thursday that Ohio now has more than 500 nationally recognized patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices delivering primary health care services across the state.  The PCMH care model is one that facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal healthcare providers.  In collaboration with its partners, ODH continues to promote statewide expansion of PCMHs in order to enhance access to primary care, improve health outcomes, enhance the patient experience and to ensure healthcare in Ohio is affordable.

"The Ohio Department of Health recognizes that medical practices must work hard to transform their practices and become patient-centered medical homes," said Richard Hodges, director of the Ohio Department of Health. "I appreciate the efforts of the many practices, health care providers and partners around the state who have worked to achieve this milestone and improve the health of many Ohioans. "

"The goal is to give Ohioans the quality of care and information they need to increase their level of health at every stage of life," said Greg Moody, director of the Governor's Office of Health Transformation. "This will help further reduce the overall cost of care through prevention and wellness."

At the core of the PCMH approach is a personal primary care provider who coordinates and integrates a person's overall medical care.  The model also incorporates safe and high quality care, enhanced access to care and payment that recognizes the added value that patients receive.  Care is managed using tools such as patient registries (database), information technology and health information exchanges to provide patients with the appropriate care when and where they need it.

"PCMHs are a good place for healthcare teams to start demonstrating better ways to manage population health, close care gaps, and reduce wasteful spending," said Jeff Biehl, president of the Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus. "Coupled with payment innovations that reward outcomes instead of volume, PCMHs provide critical building blocks towards value-based healthcare delivery."

Ohio continues to experience significant growth in the number of PCMH sites in Ohio.  The number has grown from 157 in June 2012 to 293 in June 2013 to 513 in August 2014.  The 513 sites are comprised of 455 NCQA (National Committee for Quality Assurance)-recognized sites, 7 AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care)-accredited sites, and 51 Joint Commission-accredited sites.

"The acceleration in growth of patient-centered primary care in Ohio over the past three years has been truly amazing," said Dr. Randall D. Cebul, president of Better Health Greater Cleveland. "We owe this in no small way to the Governor's Office of Health Transformation and the Ohio Department of Health, whose leaders are spearheading transformational change in health care delivery and approaches to payment.  Better Health Greater Cleveland is proud to be part of these transformative changes in northeast Ohio."

A key partner with the state in its PCMH expansion efforts is the Ohio Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (OPCPCC), a coalition of primary care providers, insurers, employers, consumer advocates, government officials and public health professionals.  The group was formed to create a more effective and efficient model of health care delivery in Ohio.

"The accomplishment of this milestone is a tribute to many things," said Dr. Richard Shonk, Chief Medical Officer for the Health Collaborative and Greater Cincinnati Health Council. "Credit goes to the many primary care offices across the state who did the difficult work in the transformation of their practices, ODH and the vision the agency brought to the state, the Governor's Office of Health Transformation and the collaboratives in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati for their leadership and support."

An interactive map of PCMH practices in Ohio may be viewed on the ODH PCMH web site.