Doctors picked for med homes

July 20, 2009
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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has identified 190 doctors in Kent County, Hastings and Wayland who meet the criteria as patient-centered medical home physicians.

They are among 1,200 Michigan doctors in about 300 primary care practices who received the designation as of July 1, the state’s largest health insurer announced this month.

In patient-centered medical homes, primary care practices convene a team approach to coordinate care for patients, from individual health status to chronic condition management to tracking medication and offering extended hours to improve access.

“It is about strengthening primary care, improving delivery of care and ultimately creating medical outcomes that benefit all Michigan residents,” BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp said, noting that medical homes have been in the planning stages for five years.

Dr. David Blair, CEO of Advantage Health, which has more than 100 primary care doctors in the Grand Rapids area, has been a champion of the patient-centered medical home.

“The patient will continue to receive a better product, as they understand that hours of access are improving, notice that the physician’s office is contacting them because they didn’t get a mammogram in a timely manner, or didn’t have diabetic labs done or haven’t been back to have their blood pressure checked,” he said, adding that Advantage Health has been working with BCBSM for about five years to implement their patient-centered medical home program.

“We have been evolving for many years, trying to move beyond doing the best job in Advantage Health offices to help meet needs of whole populations. About 10 percent of all doctors in the state of Michigan who received this credential either works for Advantage Health or is one of our closely aligned practices.”

BCBSM Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Simmer said patients will discover a more holistic approach to their health care.

“The PCMH practices have made a tremendous effort in transforming the care process, such as offering extended access to a clinician. This should reduce patients’ use of emergency departments for non-emergent conditions,” Simmer said in a written statement.

A complete list of the 190 local doctors who received BCBSM patient-centered medical home designations as of July 1 is located at www.grbj.com

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