A new report from RAND Corp. suggests that while the costs of moving to a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model range significantly, it may not be feasible for smaller providers with limited resources to handle the transition on their own, said Grant Martsolf, a policy researcher at RAND and lead author of the study:
The costs of medical home transformation vary widely, creating potential financial challenges for primary care practices — especially those that are small and independent. For primary care practices, participating in a medical home demonstration requires substantial investments. These costs of transformation include both one-time startup costs and ongoing, every-year costs.
While there are financial incentives available to practices that make the shift, such investments might be especially challenging for small practices and those not associated with a larger health network, since they had higher transformation costs per clinician. Tailored subsidies from payers could help small and independent practices make these investments.
The bottom line? Providers of all sizes have their work cut out for them if they wish to move to the PCMH model, and some will need to support — financial and otherwise — from all parties involved in order to make the transition successfully.