Montana-made Healthcare Innovation Releases Data

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Report will serve as baseline for healthcare improvements in the future

HELENA — Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica J. Lindeen last week released a report unveiling the first full-year of Montana healthcare information reported from Montana’s innovative Patient-Centered Medical Home Program.

The Montana PCMH Program was created by a bill Lindeen pushed in the 2013 Montana Legislature. A patient-centered medical home is a team-based approach to primary care that emphasizes preventative care, coordinating care, engaging patients in their own healthcare — and outcomes-based data to see where gaps in care persist.

The program is in its infancy with only one year of data now to report since the program launched.  However, the baseline data is encouraging and supports the proposition that the PCMH program advances comprehensive primary care and will keep Montanans healthier. Evidence gathered from PCMH programs across the country demonstrates that in the long term, this program can reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations, especially for patients with chronic disease.

PCMHs in Montana promote high-quality, cost-effective care by providing primary care providers with better opportunities and resources to enhance care coordination

The Montana PCMH Program qualified its first practices and payers — including three health insurers and Medicaid — in 2014. The report, released on Thursday, will serve as the baseline data as the program grows. All the data is aggregated and anonymous.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Data from PCMHs’ application showing methods they are using to improve care for their patients.
  • Baseline data on health indicators that is compared to national estimates and the federal Healthy People 2020 targets, and will be compared to future years to track trends in the quality of healthcare.
  • Baseline rates of ER visits and hospitalizations, submitted by Montana insurers and Medicaid, to track year-to-year trends in patient healthcare use.

Previously, this kind of information about key health indicators in Montana was not gathered or shared with clinics so they could see where their efforts at disease control and prevention were working – or not working.

The Montana PCMH program is administered by Lindeen’s office in consultation with a council of those involved in healthcare: patients, providers and payers, like insurance companies and the Montana Medicaid program.  Lindeen’s office will continue to work with PCMH providers and payers to advance this program that supports the goals of improving the quality of care and health of Montanans, and reducing the cost of health care.

View the public report .