Healthy World, Healthy Nation, Healthy You

The Advent of the Medical Home-What is It and How Will It Improve Primary Care?

Paul Grundy, MD, MPH
IBM’s Global Director of Healthcare Transformation
President, Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative , Washington, DC


paulPaul Grundy MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACPM, known as the “Godfather” of the Patient Centered Medical Home, member of the Institute of Medicine and recipient of the 2012 National Committee for Quality Assurance(NCQA) Quality Award, is IBM’s Global Director of Healthcare Transformation. In this role, Dr. Grundy develops and executes strategies that support IBM’s healthcare-industry transformation initiatives. Part of his work is directed towards shifting healthcare delivery around the world towards consumer-focused, primary-care based systems through the adoption of new philosophies, primary-care pilot programs, new incentives systems, and the information technology required to implement such change.

Paul Grundy is a driving force for Patient Centered Medical Home – leading IBM’s efforts to change how it insurers its employees and leading the Patient Centered Primary Care Consortium, a group of more than 100 organizations, businesses and agencies pushing the PCMH as a logical solution to health care in the US. Paul is the President of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a coalition he led IBM in creating in early 2006. The collaborative is dedicated to advancing a new primary-care model, called the patient-centered medical home, as a means of fundamentally reforming healthcare delivery. Today, the collaborative represents employers of some 50m people across the US; physician groups representing more than 330,000 medical doctors; leading consumer groups; and, the top seven US health-benefits companies.

His work has been reported widely in the New York Times, Business Week, Forbes, the Economist, the Huffington Post, New England Journal of Medicine and newspapers, radio and television around the country.

Dr. Grundy is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. In 2012, Dr. Grundy was elected to the Institute of Medicine; currently serves as a member of The Medical Education Futures Study National Advisory Board; and is Chair of Health Policy of the ERISA Industry Committee. Dr. Grundy has won three Department of State Superior Honor Awards, four Department of State Meritorious Service awards and a Department of Defense Superior Service award.

Dr. Grundy is a retired senior diplomat with the rank of Minister Consular U.S. State Department and was a Medical Director for the International SOS and Adventist Health. Dr. Grundy is also known for his work on AIDS education in Africa. Dr. Grundy has received several work related awards which include three U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Awards, four Department of State Meritorious Service awards, the Defense Superior Service Award, and the Defense Meritorious Service medal.


Health Care reform is emphasizing primary care for all citizens. In order to get value out of this encounter with the doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant, changes need to made to bring more coordination and more services such as home care and home based care equipment and education directly to the patient in order for the visit to yield the health benefits of wellness and helping consumers to achieve the best levels of health.

As Medicaid spending continues to overwhelm state budgets, the medical home model of care offers one method of transforming the health care delivery system.  Medical homes can reduce costs while improving quality and efficiency through an innovative approach to delivering comprehensive patient-centered preventive and primary care.

Also known as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), this model is designed around patient needs and aims to improve access to care (e.g. through extended office hours and increased communication between providers and patients via email and telephone), increase care coordination and enhance overall quality, while simultaneously reducing costs.

The medical home relies on a team of providers—such as physicians, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, and social workers—to meet a patient’s health care needs. Studies have shown that the medical home model’s attention to the whole-person and integration of all aspects of health care offer potential to improve physical health, behavioral health, access to community-based social services and management of chronic conditions. Primary Care will be pivotal in supporting people in attaining their health goals. It will move from a doctor centric model to one of a team focused model of care that organizes a personal health plan based on assessing and planning for all health goals to be met. If other services are needed, arrangements for these will be organized within the medical home model in order to assure that care is coordinated.

3 Key Points:

  1. Primary Care will entail a team approach not just be provided by one doctor/ health provider.
  2. Primary Care will be coordinated at one location “Medical Home” to bring all services to the patient/family in order to ensure that people get what they need.
  3. Goal is health, wellness and stabilizing conditions to maximize wellbeing.


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