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Medical Homes: More Colorado Clinics Take A Team Approach To Good Health

Author | Shield HealthCare
08/06/15  9:02 AM PST
Adult daughter with senior mother

By Eric Galatas for the Colorado News Connection

Coloradans are embracing the “medical home” model for health-care delivery, according to a new report from the Colorado Health Foundation.

In a medical home, the patient is the focus, and doctors — who traditionally play the “starring role” in clinics — become part of a team of professionals, all of whom step in as needed. It’s also known as “coordinated care,” and Jay Brooke, president and chief executive of the High Plains Community Health Center, said meeting all of a patient’s needs is what makes the medical-home approach unique.

“You really serve as the ‘spoke of the wheel’ for the patient, whether they may need some assistance with food stamps or they may qualify for Medicaid,” he said. “Each team has people on that team that knows the community resources.”

Colorado ranks 26th nationally for medical homes serving adults and seniors, according to the report. It found that nearly 200 facilities in the state now are officially recognized as medical homes — up from just 17 three years ago — and they serve almost 40 percent of residents.

The report spotlighted a young patient at a medical home in Thornton who saw a pediatrician, a dentist and a behavioral health specialist, all in the same visit. At a facility in Aurora, the report showed how a teen mother can get treatment at the same time her babies receive care. Brooke said the model also means patients don’t have to wait days or weeks to get an appointment.

“The team concept, and creating access for patients, really leads to the good patient experience,” he said. “We save about 60 percent of our appointments every day for same-day appointments.”

A new Colorado Health Foundation report shows an increasing number of clinics are adopting the medical home model, which aims to reduce costs and provide better care with a team approach that focuses on more than a person’s medical needs.

The report is online at http://coloradohealth.org/ReportCard/.

Read the Full Article from July 31, 2015 on the Colorado Statesman.

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