A person's overall health depends on many things, only one of which is the health care the person received while at a hospital or clinic. For Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, Minn., partnering with patients and families to address all factors which contribute to chronic illness is just as important as caring for the patient when he or she makes an appointment with a physician.
In 2010, Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin, Minn., became one of only 11 clinics in Minnesota to receive health care homes certification, making it eligible for medical home services reimbursement from the state.
The medical homes concept fits into Mayo's overall efforts to drive down costs while improving quality by addressing health issues before they become bigger, more costly problems. It gives a clinic the resources for incorporating patient and family communication and collaboration into clinic governance and culture.
"We're developing a model for improving care for patients with chronic conditions so their care isn't so episodic," says Joan Broers, vice president, Clinic Operations, Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. "The state certification validates that we're doing the right thing by our patients, and — important for long-term viability of the program — we can now receive payment for the services we're providing for these patients."
The seven Austin physicians certified to provide medical home care have initially used the service for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. Now, the concept is expanding to include patients with other chronic conditions, pediatric patients and patients at other Mayo Clinic Health System locations.