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Obama Orders One-Stop ‘Medical Homes’

WASHINGTON (CN) - President Obama has ordered the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create demonstration projects to test the "Medical Homes" concept at federally qualified health centers, using some of the $3.5 billion allocated to health centers as part of the federal economic stimulus package.

The medical homes concept emphasizes the patient's relationship with a primary care provider who coordinates management of the patient's health needs through an on-site interdisciplinary team of health care and social service providers.

The goal of the demonstration projects is to illustrate ways medical costs can be reduced, and positive patient outcomes can be increased, by avoiding emergency room visits and hospital stays, and providing more efficient scheduling of specialist examinations and health maintenance advisors.

Demonstration projects testing the medical homes approach have been recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises the Congress on the Medicare program.

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