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There is widespread acknowledgment that the U.S. healthcare system is in need of transformation. Our healthcare system is struggling to address increasing costs (healthcare spend is projected to rise from $2.5 trillion in 2009 to $4.4 trillion by 2018), poor or inconsistent quality and inaccessibility to timely care (45.7 million uninsured, or 15.3% of total population). As President Barack Obama stated, “…the cost of our healthcare has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: healthcare reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.”

As an epidemiologist who has long studied healthcare, I believe replacing poorly coordinated, acute-focused, episodic care with coordinated, proactive, preventive, acute, chronic, long-term and end-of-life care is foundational to the transformation of our healthcare system. This can be best accomplished by strengthening primary care and having primary care provider-led (PCP) care delivery teams working at the “top of their licenses” –- at the level for which they are qualified and licensed. One approach to transforming primary care is the patient-centered medical home, or the “medical home” –- an enhanced primary-care model that provides comprehensive and timely care with appropriate reimbursement, emphasizing the central role of teamwork and engagement by those receiving care.

With this in mind, I am pleased to announce the launch of new study on the medical home, “Patient Centered Medical Home: What, Why and How?” This study makes the realistic case for why and how stakeholders can participate in medical home initiatives, identifies critical issues and makes recommendations for best practices to increase the likelihood of initial success and sustainability. It was co-authored by Jim Adams (Executive Director of the IBM Center for Healthcare Management); Paul Grundy MD (IBM Global Director of Healthcare Transformation), Martin S. Kohn MD (Senior Managing Consultant in IBM’s healthcare strategy and change practice), and myself. The study is based on extensive primary and secondary research, including interviews of leading business and thought leaders focused on the medical home. And beginning Thursday, May 28, you can access this study at www.ibm.com/healthcare/medicalhome

You are also invited to join us for a briefing on this study. This conference call will take place on Wednesday, May 27 at 1:30 PM ET via conference call. Please join us by registering here.

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