Expanding the Primary Care Health Home Model

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by Tamara Sánchez Ortíz, MD/MPH candidate and Abigail Barker, PhD, Center for Health Economics & Policy, Washington University in St. Louis | August 2021

Missouri’s Primary Care Health Home program (PCHH) offers a promising cost-effective model for taking care of patients with chronic conditions, and it has the potential to do so in greater volumes and with a wider scope of patients. In August 2020, Missourians voted to expand Medicaid (also known as MO HealthNet Division, MHD) in the state by July 2021. Given an influx of new enrollees, the time is ripe for MHD to re-evaluate how to best take care of its Medicaid population, particularly those that are disproportionately incurring high healthcare costs from inadequately managed chronic health conditions. Building on the success of Missouri’s nearly one-decade-old, comprehensive, patient-centered PCHH model, this white paper outlines recommendations for expanding the program to further advance the state’s goals in pursuit of the “Triple Aim” of healthcare: lowering costs, improving population health, and providing higher quality care.

These recommendations were developed after close evaluation of Missouri’s PCHH program, research on other states’ programs, and interviews with different PCHH team members at various PCHH sites across Missouri.