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What PCMH is and What it is Not

What PCMH is NOT:

  • Don’t get confused by the word “home.” A patient-centered medical home is not like a nursing home or a home health agency where someone comes to take care of you at your house. It has nothing to do with a real house and everything to do with your healthcare team.

  • A PCMH does not take care of issues such as bed bugs in your home, home heating bills or registration to become a home health agency.

What PCMH is:

Coordinated Care

  • The most important job of a medical home is to take care of you – not just your broken foot or your heart condition or your diabetes, but all of you.  Your primary care team gets to know you personally.  It’s like having a family of healthcare workers taking care of you. 

Open Access

  • Many PCMHs are open in the evening and on weekends and offer around-the-clock telephone service, which should help you avoid the emergency room.

  • You don’t have to go to an emergency room when your child develops a fever, ear infection or needs a refill for an asthma inhaler. Unless it’s a true emergency where you or your loved one’s life is in danger, you can contact your doctor at your medical home.

  • You don’t have to go to a hospital to get help if you have a care team working with you to keep you healthy.  

Whole Person Care

  • Your care team can help diagnose and treat common illnesses before they become too serious.  If you have a serious disease, your care team will monitor you to make sure you’re taking the right medications and getting the right tests on schedule. This saves everyone money, time and worry.

Enhanced Communication

  • Your care team can send email messages and test results to each other over a private computer network.  That means they get results from your tests very quickly.  You don’t have to wait and worry.

  • Your care team and pharmacist know what pills you should take because the doctor’s office is connecting with the drug store. When your medications change, your records do too.

  • Your doctor also can send you reminders through a private Web portal from their office or clinic. You can email your care team and they’ll answer you.

This is an example of your total care team.

Click on each person to learn more.