The medical home functions of primary care practices that care for adults with psychological distress: a cross-sectional study
Linman, S., Benjenk, I. & Chen, J. The medical home functions of primary care practices that care for adults with psychological distress: a cross-sectional study. BMC Health Serv Res 19, 21 (2019).
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Primary care practices are changing the way that they provide care by increasing their medical home functionality. Medical home functionality can improve access to care and increase patient-centeredness, which is essential for persons with mental health issues. This study aims to explore the degree to which medical home functions have been implemented by primary care practices that care for adults with psychological distress. Analysis of the 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component and Medical Organizations Survey. This unique data set links data from a nationally representative sample of US households to the practices in which they receive primary care. This study focused on adults aged 18 and above. As compared to adults without psychological distress, adults with psychological distress had significantly higher rates of chronic illness and poverty. Adults with psychological distress were more likely to receive care from practices that include advanced practitioners and are non-profit or hospital-based. Multivariate models that were adjusted for patient-level and practice-level characteristics indicated that adults with psychological distress are as likely to receive primary care from practices with medical home functionality, including case management, electronic health records, flexible scheduling, and PCMH certification, as adults without psychological distress. Practices that care for adults with mental health issues have not been left behind in the transition towards medical home models of primary care. Policy makers should continue to prioritize adults with mental health issues to receive primary care through this model of delivery due to this population’s great potential to benefit from improved access and care coordination.