Report finds new model of care can improve quality, lower costs and increase physician efficiency

(LEAWOOD, Kan.) - A report released today by America's family physicians projects that widespread implementation of the New Model of care recommended in the recently released "Future of Family Medicine" report would lead to increases in efficiency and compensation for family physicians, improved quality of care and satisfaction for patients and significant savings for the U.S. healthcare system. The findings, which are published as an online supplement to the November/December 2004 issue of Annals of Family Medicine, are based on practice- and societal-level financial models developed by the national consulting firm, The Lewin Group.

Following on the recommendations laid out in the report, the AAFP late last month approved the creation of a New Model Practice Resource Center to provide on-going consultation and support to family medicine practices across the country looking to transform to the New Model. The initial focus of of the Practice Resource Center is to develop, implement and evaluate a 'proof of concept' National Demonstration Project to pilot test the New Model of care in 10-20 family medicine practices of varying sizes across the country.

Based on the concept of a relationship-centered personal medical home for all Americans, the New Model of care includes a number of characteristics, including the following, which are listed in order of importance to patients based on focus group interviews conducted as part of the report:

  • Personal medical home
  • Commitment to provide a defined basket of services
  • Advanced information systems, including electronic health records
  • Patient-centered care
  • Elimination of barriers to access; open access by patients
  • Team approach to care
  • Whole-person orientation
  • Focus on quality and safety
  • Enhanced practice finance
  • Redesigned, more functional offices
  • " Care provided in a community context'"/>

Contact: Angela Lower
American Academy of Family Physicians

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