Survey: Medical Homes Help Coordinate Care, Reduce Medical Errors
An international survey found that chronically ill patients with access to medical home-like health systems reported better coordination of care, fewer medical errors and greater satisfaction with care than those without one, Modern Healthcare reports.
The survey -- conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Commonwealth Fund -- included more than 18,000 patients with serious health problems in the U.S. and 10 other high-income countries. The survey identified patients as having access to a medical home if they reported access to a primary care practice that helped coordinate care received from other providers (Barr, Modern Healthcare, 11/9).
According to the survey:
- 75% of patients in the U.K. and Switzerland had a medical home, compared to between 33% and 65% of patients who had one in the other nine countries;
- U.K. and Swiss patients reported more positive health experiences than patients in other countries, with seven out ofÂ 10 reporting the ability to get same- or next-day appointments; and
- 20% of U.K. patients and 23% Swiss patients reported gaps in care.
Meanwhile, 42% of patients in the U.S. reported not visiting a physician, filling a prescription or getting recommended care when they were ill -- more than double the rates in the U.K., Switzerland and other nations.
U.S. patients also had the highest rates of self-reported medication, lab, or medical errors and 42% reported gaps in care. Further, 27% of U.S. patients had trouble paying medical bills, compared with between 1% and 14% in the 10 other countries.
According to Cathy Schoen, the study's lead author, chronically ill patients often encounter lapses in care coordination, even in health care systems built on medical-home principles. However, nations with medical homes "are far less likely to encounter duplication, delays, and failures to share important information," she added (Steenhuysen, Reuters, 11/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.