WILLMAR - It’s official: Affiliated Community Medical Centers is now certified by the Minnesota Department of Health as a health care home.
The multispecialty regional health network announced the news Tuesday.
The certification applies to all of ACMC’s clinic locations: Benson, Granite Falls, Hancock, Litchfield, Marshall, New London-Spicer, Redwood Falls and Willmar.
A health care home, also known as a patient-centered medical home, is an approach to health care that emphasizes a partnership among primary care providers, patients and families to improve health outcomes and quality of life for individuals with chronic health conditions and disabilities. The health care home also puts patients at the center of care decisions, whether they’re seeking care for common, acute or chronic conditions.
“Our goal has always been to provide the best care possible for our patients,” Dr. Robert Kaiser, a family physician with ACMC, said in a statement. “We are very excited about the concept of medical home. At a time when medicine is becoming increasingly complex and expensive, the need for listening, coordinating patient concerns, tests and specialty care, or just offering practical medical advice is greater than ever.”
Studies on the patient-centered medical home have found people who participate in a health care home tend to have fewer hospitalizations and miss fewer days of work or school. The medical home model may also help reduce the overall cost of care, especially for people with special health care needs.
Chronic unmanaged diseases and unnecessary emergency room visits are thought to account for more than 70 percent of U.S. health care expenses.
The development of health care homes in Minnesota is part of health reform legislation passed in 2008. This model of care also is being developed in medical practices nationwide.