HCRS is working with IMPAQ International, LLC, a policy research firm, in conducting an evaluation of the Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot Program. Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) are practice arrangements in which the primary care physician or practice delivers, integrates or coordinates all the care that patients require, including specialist and hospital care. PCMHs have been promoted as a potential solution to many of the problems facing the American health care system (e.g., fast-rising costs, medical errors/declining quality of care, and lack of coordination of care). Nearly all States have implemented a Medicaid and/or private insurance demonstration involving PCMH, including Maryland, whose 3-year pilot began in 2011 with 53 primary care practices and about 200,000 patients. All the major insurance carriers and the Maryland Medicaid program are participating. The study is being conducted under the auspices of the Maryland Health Care Commission.
Our job is to help IMPAQ answer the following questions about the PCMH Pilot Program: (1) Did access to and the quality of care improve? (2) Did patient, provider, and staff satisfaction increase? (3) Have disparities in health been reduced? (4) Has the utilization of costly services decreased? (5) Are payer costs of care lower? Answering these questions will involve gathering care outcomes and cost data along with information about patient, provider and staff perceptions during 2012 and again in 2014.