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Center for Health Policy a Facilitator at Idaho Medical Home Collaborative’s Kick-Off Event in November

The Idaho Medical Home Collaborative (IMHC) hosted a kickoff event with 100 people in attendance on Friday, Nov. 30 at the Boise State University Student Union. Merck Inc. and the Idaho Primary Health Care Association were sponsors of the event while Boise State’s Center for Health Policy helped facilitate at the event. Created by an executive order of Gov. Butch Otter in Sept. 2010, the IMHC is a collaboration of public payers, private health insurers, primary care physicians, and many other interested stakeholders to implement the patient-centered medical home model of care in a statewide pilot project. This effort will address the need to transform Idaho’s health care system into a higher performing health care model that delivers higher quality, increased efficiency, and lower overall cost.

Three staff from the 15 primary care practices participating in the two-year statewide demonstration project attended the event as well as representatives from the 18 member organizations appointed by Gov. Otter to the Collaborative’s governing board. After introductions of the primary care practices and IMHC members, experts in the concepts of the patient-centered medical home provided an overview of principles, accomplishments and future trends at the State and Federal level.

The patient-centered medical home is a comprehensive model of primary care where the relationship between a physician-directed care team and a patient ensures that appropriate care is structured, delivered and coordinated around the specific needs of each patient, and offers significant promise for improving health care value. To be able to deliver patient-centered medical homes, primary care physicians have to restructure their practices so that they are more accessible, promote prevention and wellness more effectively, support patients with chronic illness rather than treating the symptoms of those illnesses, and proactively support patients in self-management and decision-making. During the two-year IMHC project, the IMHC will make recommendations to the governor on a unified definition of an Idaho medical home, payment formulas to transform health care to encourage quality, and procedures to analyze the results to report on clinical and financial outcomes.

From the patient’s perspective, a successful patient-centered medical home means a new era for their health care. Patients will be genuine partners with their healthcare team and patient preferences for the type of care they receive will be a key guiding principle. Patients will receive far more help than they currently do for understanding their health problems and figuring out what realistically can be done to decrease the burden of those health problems.

Member organizations include: Idaho Primary Care Association; Blue Cross of Idaho; Pacific Source; Family Medicine Residency of Idaho; State of Idaho Senate; Health and Social Services, The Governor’s Office; Idaho Medical Association; Idaho Department of Insurance; Regence Blue Shield of Idaho; Idaho House of Representatives; Idaho Academy of Family Physicians; State Office of Rural Health and Primary Care; Representative, SGIM, Idaho Chapter; Idaho Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Employer; VA Medical Center; HealthWest, Inc.; and Idaho Hospital Association.