UCLA Report Links ‘Medical Homes’ With Preventive Care
Californians who lack a consistent health care provider -- or a "medical home" -- appear less likely to receive regular preventive care, according to a policy brief from UCLA, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
Details of Policy Brief
For the brief, researchers defined a medical home as a place where:
- A patient sees a regular physician over an extended period of time;
- A patient's regular physician creates a personalized treatment plan for the patient; and
- The physician coordinates the patient's care.
According to the brief, UCLA researchers found that -- when compared with patients without a regular source of care -- patients whose care met the three criteria for a medical home were:
- More likely to get a regular flu shot;
- More likely to have seen a physician at least five times within the past year;
- More likely to have called their physician with a health-related question; and
- More confident about their ability to manage their own health.
Mary Valencia -- the quality improvement coordinator at South Central Family Health Center in Los Angeles -- said medical homes are "not the norm" in South Los Angeles, which often presents logistical issues that could lead to poor health outcomes.
She said, "What happens is there's not much coordinated care," adding, "We have a very transient population. They often move, phone numbers are disconnected, they have a lot of" issues.
Valencia said patients might leave a clinic, receive care elsewhere and then return to the original clinic, and health care providers do not know what happened during the interim months.She said that with medical homes, "[y]ou don't have to start from square one every time you come for a visit because they will know your medical history" (Martinez, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/30). 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.