Patient-Centered Medical Home
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) concept provides health care that is becoming increasingly popular in South Carolina and across the nation. In a PCMH, a patient has a health care team that is typically led by a doctor. It may include nurses, a nutritionist, health educators, pharmacists and behavioral health specialists. The team makes referrals to other providers as needed. Communication among the team members and with the patient is an important part of the medical practice.
The focus in a PCMH is on coordinating care and preventing illnesses rather than waiting until an illness occurs and then treating it. The team helps the patient improve his health by working with him to set goals and to make a plan to meet them. This approach may be particularly beneficial to members with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Typically, a PCMH offers same-day appointments whether the patient is sick or needs routine care. It may have extended hours, and team members may communicate online with patients.
To encourage members to receive care at a BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina-affiliated PCMH, the State Health Plan does not charge Standard Plan members the $14 copayment for an in-person physician office visit. After Savings Plan and Standard Plan subscribers meet their deductible, they will pay 10 percent coinsurance rather than 20 percent for care at a PCMH. PCMHs are available in many South Carolina counties.