'Medical Homes' Bolster Primary Care And Cut Emergency Costs

Several news outlets look at efforts to manage care for Medicaid patients and the uninsured better.

American Medical News: "In North Carolina, most new Medicaid enrollees are placed into enhanced medical homes. A group of 14 nonprofit, doctor-directed regional care networks identify local resources and tailor quality-improvement goals to local Medicaid patients' needs. Some even receive home visits from care coordinators. Community Care is still an effort to manage care, but one that is driven by patient needs, physicians in the program said. … And the need for such effective care management will become only greater. An estimated 16 million people will gain Medicaid coverage under a national eligibility expansion beginning in 2014. ... Backers say North Carolina's example could show other states that maintaining quality and saving money in Medicaid don't need to be mutually exclusive goals” (Trapp, 8/2).

Dayton [Ohio] Daily News: "Three medical offices — clinics once owned and operated by local hospitals — now form the network of community health centers serving about 7,000 patients a year. ... The goal, alleviate the drain on hospital emergency rooms for treatment of nonemergencies like cold or the flu and provide access to preventative health care. Just 8 percent of patients treated by the Community Health Centers of Greater Dayton in 2009 had insurance, compared to 29 percent who were uninsured. … The nonprofit's total budget for 2010 is $3.8 million. About $650,000, will come from federal grants. The Montgomery County Human Services Levy committed an additional $655,000 and a one-time, $101,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant was awarded this year. The remainder of the budget, about $2.3 million, will come from Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, or from patients" (Smith, 8/2).

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