Choosing a Business Model: Patient-Centered Medical Homes

Ryan Syrek, MA; Michael L. Munger, MD


May 03, 2016

Editor's Note:
From young physicians considering their first practice model to experienced doctors contemplating a change, the advantages and disadvantages of a new situation can be overwhelming. For this second installment in a series examining various business models for physicians, we asked Dr Michael L. Munger, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians, to give us his perspective on the ins and outs of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH).

Michael L. Munger, MD

Medscape: Could you describe the basics of a PCMH?

Dr Munger: A PCMH is a model of care that aims to transform the delivery of comprehensive primary care. The characteristics of a PCMH include patient-focused, team-based care delivery; care coordination; enhanced access for patients; use of health information technology; robust chronic disease management; and a focus on population health.

In team-based care delivery, each member of the team has an active role in caring for the patient and the population. All members will work to the top level of their training and licensure. This shifts the model away from episodic, physician-centric, fragmented care to a model of proactively managing populations through evidence-based medicine and coordinated care among the specialists within the medical neighborhood. The patient-centered aspect also includes care plans in which the patient actively participates in development.

The hours worked are similar to those of a traditional practice—approximately 50 hours per week. The salary range varies depending on the value-based contracts available in each market.

Medscape: What do you see as the biggest advantages of PCMHs?

Dr Munger: The biggest advantage is the ability to focus not only on the patient in front of me on the examination table, but also on the total population of my patient panel. That was the draw for me.

Being able to use health information technology to proactively manage chronic diseases gives me the satisfaction of knowing that I am delivering high-quality, evidence-based care. In the team-based approach, all members of the care team play an active role in the overall health of our patients. We all feel ownership in our patients' health outcomes; this, in turn, drives professional satisfaction. Patients appreciate the team-based approach and welcome these efforts. An additional benefit is efficiency, with less time being spent on tasks that don't add value, which allows me more time to spend on directly caring for my patients.


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