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Ann Fam Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;8(2):108-16. doi: 10.1370/afm.1080.

Principles of the patient-centered medical home and preventive services delivery.

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Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.



Limited research exists examining the principles of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) and improved outcomes. We examined whether PCMH principles (personal physician, physician-directed team, whole-person orientation, coordination of care, quality and safety, and enhanced access) are associated with receipt of preventive services.


We undertook cross-sectional analyses using baseline patient and practice member surveys and chart audits from a quality improvement trial in 24 primary care offices. Association of PCMH principles with preventive services (receipt of cancer screening, lipid screening, influenza vaccination, and behavioral counseling) was examined using hierarchical linear modeling.


Higher global PCMH scores were associated with receipt of preventive services (beta = 2.3; P <.001). Positive associations were found with principles of personal physician (beta = 3.7; P <.001), in particular, continuity with the same physician (beta = 4.4; P = .002) and number of visits within 2 years (15% higher for patients with 13 or more visits; P <.001); and whole-person orientation (beta = 5.6; P <.001), particularly, having a well-visit within 5 years (beta = 12.3; P <.001) and being treated for chronic diseases (6% higher if more than 3 chronic diseases; P = .002). Having referral systems to link patients to community programs for preventive counseling (beta = 8.0; P <.001) and use of clinical decision-support tools (beta = 5.0; P = .04) were also associated with receipt of preventive services.


Relationship-centered aspects of PCMH are more highly correlated with preventive services delivery in community primary care practices than are information technology capabilities. Demonstration projects and tools that measure PCMH principles should have greater emphasis on these key primary care attributes.

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