Paula Sauer

There’s no place like (medical) home

Buckeye Farm News

By Paula Sauer, Vice President of Care Management, Medical Mutual of Ohio

How many of us remember doctors who made house calls?

When we got sick, Mom called the family doctor and the doctor would come right over to the house.

While most of us yearn for those simpler times, there is a new model based on the old simplicity of one doctor providing personal, one-on-one, efficient health care. This model is called the Medical Home.

A Medical Home is not a hospital, not a house or a building. Rather it is home for all of your healthcare issues: past, present and future. It is all about you forming a close working relationship with just one doctor, a personal care physician who oversees all of your healthcare needs.

Looking to build a full complement of Medical Homes in 2011, Medical Mutual of Ohio is in the process of contracting with qualified doctors’ offices to serve as a Medical Home, ensuring improved quality and coordination of your overall medical care. This means you have access to the right health services at the right time, 24 hours a day. Doctors’ offices that qualify as a Medical Home need to ensure patient access and maintain electronic patient records.

The Medical Home makes it much easier to compile and share your family medical history with one doctor. Not only will it be easier to ensure that all your information is carefully documented in one location, but your doctor will be better equipped to treat your medical conditions and make recommendations for ongoing preventive care. The Medical Home will also coordinate care with specialists and play an active role in any hospital discharges to ensure the proper course of recovery is followed.

There are a lot more reasons the Medical Home concept makes sense:Keeping track of your medications can be a daunting task. If you see more than one specialist, who is keeping track of which drugs are being prescribed for you? Could there be dangerous interactions? Your doctor simplifies the process by maintaining a record of your medications as well as any history of allergic reactions.

Your doctor will be familiar with your medical history and personal risk factors making it easier to establish a schedule for routine screenings such as mammograms and colonoscopies.

Once you get to know your doctor, you’ll be more likely to share private or embarrassing information. This, in turn, can enhance the accuracy of any diagnosis.

When you visit your doctor on a regular basis, you make it easier for both you and your doctor to monitor key numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, blood sugar and body mass index. Medical Homes will also focus on specific health topics such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

A single doctor will monitor your long-term health and wellness, stay up-to-date on preventive care and help you avoid the hassle of unnecessary acute or urgent care appointments.

Visiting one doctor helps you steer clear of fragmented, uncoordinated care. You avoid the risk of letting something important fall through the cracks and receive medical care consistent with recommended guidelines.As your relationship with your doctor grows, he or she can guide you toward healthy habits that decrease the likelihood of expensive specialty care, which help ward off unwanted and costly medical conditions.

When you go to a doctor of your choice for all your healthcare needs, you’ve got a safe way to monitor your long-term health and wellness, stay up-to-date on preventive care and avoid the hassles of unnecessary acute or urgent care appointments.

Keeping close tabs on you and your family’s medical needs and medical history may soon become less complicated.Medical Mutual will have more information in a future article about Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), another innovative concept in providing quality health care to you and your family.


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