"What to Expect": National Conference Senior Fellows Olsen and North to Speak on Health Care Reform and the Patient-Centered Medical Home

The 25th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access will be held April 14-16, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco (adjacent to San Francisco’s Embarcadero Plaza. For information on the invitation process to this invitational National Conference, inquire at [email protected])

San Francisco Bay and the Ferry Building from the Hyatt Regency San Francisco
San Francisco Bay and the Ferry Building from the Hyatt Regency San Francisco

Two senior fellows of the National Conferences on Primary Health Care Access – Doctors Cynthia Olsen of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Charles Q. North of the University of New Mexico – will speak on initiatives in Ohio and New Mexico to increase the patient-centered medical home.

Senior Fellow Cynthia Olsen, MD
Senior Fellow Cynthia Olsen, MD; Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine; Dayton, Ohio

Dr Olsen notes: “In Ohio we are excited because our Republican Governor is pushing to expand Medicaid. Simultaneously, there is the push for expansion of the Patient-Centered Medical Home [PCMH] across Ohio.

In the Governor’s program, to participate in the Medicaid business, you will have to a PCMH. Most of the HMOs and other carriers have already adopted them.

Ohio, which is one of the states that won federal monies for PCMH projects is on the cutting edge of this innovation.

Dr North notes the University of New Mexico Hospital has recently received a higher-level recognition and will be in another round of application for more clinics.

Senior Fellow Charles Q. North, MD, MS; University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Albuquerque
Senior Fellow Charles Q. North, MD, MS; University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Albuquerque

He notes that UNM has 75 of 98 physicians in the state of New Mexico who are recognized as PCMH providers.  This is a long and complicated process for an Academic Medical Center, especially since it is done in the environment of “volume rather than value” reimbursement.

We anticipate the change to value, but who knows when and exactly what it is?

Dr North, who retired from the Indian Health Service, after a long career in that organization, states that life was simpler in the IHS with global budgets and a different set of incentives.

He notes that, we in New Mexico, also have a Republican governor.  The difference is that our state legislature is Democrat.  When Governor Susanna Martinez approved Medicaid expansion there was a giant sigh of relief from Democrats and no active opposition from Republicans.

New Mexico, Dr North observes, has been transforming the Medicaid program into a more sophisticated managed care approach with the recognition that more adults with chronic disease will be entering the pool.

“Our insurance exchange is a state-federal partnership” Dr North stated.  “The exchange build was deliberately delayed by the governor and her staff which hampered the smooth operation but it has received almost no press here.”