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Health insurance companies work together to create medical homes for New York residents Posted: March 9th, 2011

By Maryalene LaPonsie

The use of patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) in New York's Hudson Valley received a boost after six health insurance companies pitched in a combined $1.5 million in incentives to physicians and practices participating in the care model. The money was distributed to 236 primary care physicians and 11 practices that achieved PCMH recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The six health insurance companies participating in the effort:

  1. Aetna
  2. UnitedHealthcare
  3. Empire BlueCross BlueShield
  4. MVP Health Care
  5. Hudson Health Plan
  6. CDPHP

Together, the insurers represent 65 percent of the commercial health insurance market in the Hudson Valley and 43 percent of the Medicaid managed care market. Approximately 500,000 individuals now have access to a PCMH.

The PCMH model allows patients to select a primary care physician or practice as their "medical home." All aspects of care are coordinated through that physician or office. PCMHs often emphasize preventive care and rely on electronic health records and electronic prescribing to better manage health conditions.

In a press release announcing the collaboration, it was noted that the use of PCMHs improves quality-of-care measures by 8.3 percent to 9.1 percent. In addition, clinical preventive and chronic care services improve by 5 percent.