Policy challenges in building the medical home: Do we have a shared blueprint?

Robert J. Stenger, Jennifer E. DeVoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The notion of a patient-centered medical home features prominently in policy reform initiatives across the country, with both state and federal legislation focusing on this new model. We sought to understand the views of key stakeholders and to examine the challenging landscape facing policymakers and practitioners as they attempt to translate the medical home concept into widespread practice change. Methods: We reviewed legislative documents from state legislative sessions in the year 2007 to identify pieces of legislation that included the medical home concept. Concurrently we conducted an indepth qualitative analysis of de-identified field notes from a purposeful sample of semistructured interviews conducted with key stakeholders in Oregon after the passage of health reform legislation in 2007. Results: Legislation that further defined and expounded on the medical home concept was introduced in states across the country in 2007, and some federal and state demonstration projects were already underway. However, we identified a number of barriers to widespread implementation of the medical home, most notably lack of a clear operational definition. Key stakeholders had widely disparate views about elements central to the success of medical home demonstrations, including delivery system reform, payment reform, and performance incentives for providers. Conclusions: Since 2007 the concept of the medical home has gained increasing attention in health care reform debates. Our findings suggest that translating this concept into successful, widespread reform will require that policymakers build further consensus among key stakeholders and require them to address critical barriers to avoid repeating pitfalls of past reform efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-392
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Health care economics
  • Health care systems
  • Health policy
  • Medical home
  • Patient-centered care
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice


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