What Is a Patient-Centered Medical Home?

The patient-centered medical home was derived from the 2010 Affordable Care Act and its goal is to improve value and care that patients receive, while reducing medical costs. UPMC has one of the first disease-specific medical homes in the U.S., Total Care-IBD. Through this coordinated model of care, patients receive:

  • More individualized care based on their specific needs
  • Access to innovative medical technology
  • One comprehensive care team so they aren’t burdened by coordinating appointments with several physicians

A patient-centered medical home is led by a physician or group of physicians who act as the patient’s primary care team. The physician then coordinates a ‘neighborhood’ care team within a medical practice to serve the entire spectrum of the patient’s needs.

What Does Patient-Centered Medical Home Mean?

Although the name may suggest, a patient-centered medical home is not actually a physical building. Rather, it is a model of care that aims to transform the delivery of comprehensive primary and specialty care to children, adolescents, and adults.

This kind of care involves a wide variety of specialists and doctors communicating with each other to provide the best possible care for yourself or a loved one. Throughout each step of your care, the team communicates to one another to ensure high quality, efficient care. A patient-centered medical home can include:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Nutritionists/Dietitians
  • Social workers
  • Care coordinators

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disease that lends itself well to a team-based approach. Patients with IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, often require treatment from a multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, surgeons, nutritionists, pain management specialists, and more to address the full spectrum of care. These visits can accrue high expenses for patients and their insurance carriers.

Currently, UPMC Total Care-IBD is the first patient-centered medical home in the country that treats patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. UPMC Total Care-IBD treats those patients whose primary reason to see a doctor is their Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The team has data to prove that this level of coordinated care had led to improved care and lower medical costs.

To learn more about UPMC Total Care-IBD, email digestivedisorders@upmc.edu, or call 412-647-2183.