The concept of "medical home" is something you will be hearing more and more about in the New Year. At this point, different players in the health care system are defining it in different ways, but in general, a medical home refers to a primary health care setting that would be a starting place for you and your family to obtain all of the medical care you and your family need. The medical home would maintain a centralized, comprehensive record of all of your health related services, and your health care would be coordinated with any of the specialists you and your family need. And, in the best case scenario, prior approval would not be needed before you or any one in your family went to see a specialist.
While all of this may seem completely futuristic, I can tell you that some of these changes may happen sooner than later. In the past, changes to the health care system happened in small increments. However, we may now have reached a tipping point among health care providers, patients, policy makers, and politicians that a COMPLETE overhaul of the present system is needed.
There will absolutely be stumbling blocks and hurdles to overcome in creating these new medical homes. One of the greatest hurdles will be in the area of information technology. Unfortunately, some in the medical community have not embraced computer technology, email, and telemedicine as quickly as others. On the other hand, numerous foundations and government agencies are already piloting medical home projects, and the initial outcomes are promising.
Stay tuned. Medical homelessness may soon become ancient history.
Published On: December 31, 2008