ACHP and Members Receive Grant to Examine Effectiveness of Patient-Centered Medical Homes

The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) and two of its members have been awarded a grant by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Quality Research and Quality (AHRQ) to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative primary care transformation efforts at Priority Health of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Independent Health of Buffalo, N.Y.

Under the grant, a research team led by Michigan State University will evaluate the effectiveness of two different patient-center medical home (PCMH) models in place at ACHP member plans, Priority Health and Independent Health.  Researchers will examine the effectiveness of the two models in how they achieve the “Triple Aim”—better health, better care, at affordable cost.

The PCMH model of care replaces episodic care by fostering a long-term physician-patient relationship focused on coordinated, accessible and comprehensive care. Under the grant, ACHP will convene and facilitate an advisory board of primary care leaders who will provide feedback to the project team.

Rebecca Malouin, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the Primary Care Research and Evaluation Program at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, will lead the research team in examining the effectiveness of Priority Health’s and Independent Health’s medical home models—assessing cost, quality and experience. The three-year grant will make it possible for Dr. Malouin to analyze claims data from the pilot projects of each plan from 2009, when the pilots were launched, through 2011.

“ACHP is dedicated to improving coverage and care in local communities and nationally,” said Patricia Smith, ACHP President and CEO. “ACHP member organizations are engaged in some of America’s most innovative health care quality research and implementation work. This initiative is an excellent example of that work.”

ACHP provides a venue for its members to implement cutting-edge pilots and programs aimed at improving the processes and outcomes of care. ACHP fosters discussion with leading researchers, blends managed care expertise with broader health system dynamics and manages diverse projects among members, as well as other components of the health care system.

This HHS grant is part of the investments made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included $1.1 billion to support patient-centered outcomes research.

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ACHP is a national leadership organization that brings together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care in their communities. The community-based and regional health plans and provider organizations from across the country that make up ACHP’s membership provide coverage and care for approximately 18 million Americans. These 21 organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of patient care coordination, patient-centered medical homes, accountable health care delivery, use of information technology and other innovations leading to improvements in affordability and the quality of care. To learn more about ACHP, go to www.achp.org.