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UR Medical Center (URMC) recently received a $4.65 million grant from the New York State Department of Health to fund the expansion of a training program for primary care residents.

The grant will provide residents with more exposure to patient-centered medical home models, a comprehensive care model that tries to incorporate medical officials from all areas in order to better coordinate patient care.

According to a URMC press release, the grant will be used to “increase the number of hours spent by primary care residents in practices that care for Medicaid patients, including their participation in quality improvement initiatives.”

The $4.65 million grant is part of the $250 million Hospital-Medical Home Demonstration Program funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The project aims to increase knowledge about the medical home model. With more experience, there will potentially be a smoother transition from outpatient training sites to patient-centered medical homes.

The hope of using medical homes lies in its ability to regulate patient populations by “improving access to care, offering more preventive services, tracking and providing outreach to non-adherent patients, and developing outcome measures,” said the URMC statement.

Eventually, these patient-centered medical home models will strive to better coordinate care. This model is similar to  the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), another patient-centered health delivery system involving multiple providers.
The current U.S. medical system lacks this focus on prevention and long-term care to treat serious and prevalent diseases such as cancer.

ACOs have become fairly popular due to their focus on quality and preventive medicine, even receiving support from the Medicare Shared Savings Program through the aforementioned CMS.

“We are not equipped as a health delivery system to deal with the two-thirds of cancer that is caused by patient behavior,” New York State Commissioner of Health Nirav R. Shah said. “We have to be held accountable…to preventing the disease in the first place.”

Shah’s presentation was entitled, “Academic Medical Centers, and the Reshaping of Health Care in New York State” and sponsored by the Medical Center Board.

Additional reporting by Antoinette Esce.
Fox is member of the class of 2013.

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