A five-year study released by the Minnesota Department of Health this week, which recorded reams of data in comparing traditional primary care practice patient and cost results with those of health care home practices (“HCH”), gives a fascinating, data-driven glimpse of patient center medical home plans established within the existing Medicare/Medicaid/third party payor system over a five-year period. The findings are especially notable in that these HCHs remained within the traditional reimbursement system as opposed to a direct primary care medical home practice model, which generally requires the practice to forego traditional insurance and seek payment only from the patient.

Some notable results:

  • HCHs had significant and substantial savings on their Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare/Medicaid dual-eligible patients compared to non-HCHs between 2010 and 2014.
  • HCHs had lower costs.
  • In the subject population, there was a major decrease in the use of hospital services, which was the primary driver of cost savings.
  • In the subject population, there was a modest decrease in prescription drug use.
  • HCHs generated over $1 billion in savings.

The full study is available here.