Expect More Team-Based Care in Patient-Centered Medical Homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224

WASHINGTON — Family physicians and their primary care physician colleagues will be well-versed in providing team-based care in community-based, patient-centered medical homes that provide comprehensive patient care. 

Those changes will result from reforms wrought by the Affordable Care Act, according to research by Kathleen Klink, MD, medical director of the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care. Klink completed the research during her tenure at the Health Resources and Services Administration, where she is the immediate past director of the Division of Medicine and Dentistry in the Bureau of Health Professions.

The research, “Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Grant-Supported Primary Care Faculty” in this month’s Journal of Graduate Medical Education, reviewed funded faculty development grant applications to the Title VII, Section 747 Primary Care Training and Enhancement program of the Public Health Service Act before and after passage of the Affordable Care Act. 

“Family and other future primary care physicians must have training to provide comprehensive care in community-based, patient-centered medical homes as members and leaders of health care teams,” Klink said. “This requires training faculty to teach current residents and students to perform in a system that does not yet exist — quite a challenge.”

The Affordable Care Act helps meet that challenge because it modified faculty development training programs and provided administrative flexibility to help guide grantees to teach and implement new models, according to Klink. 

Her research showed nine out of 10 funded applicants emphasized inter-professional, team-based care in 2011, compared to six in 10 in 2008. Nearly eight out of 10 successful applicants that focused on patient-centered medical homes received funding, compared to two out of 10 in 2008.

“The most striking trend in faculty development curricula with enactment of the ACA is a growing emphasis on training in inter-professional and team-based care in patient-centered medical homes,” Klink said. 

Moreover, the trend in successful grant applications holds promise for improving the maldistribution of primary care physicians. Eight of the 2011 successful applications were in southern and south-central regions of the United States — areas with a significant number of medically underserved communities. Before the ACA, only two applicants in these regions won Title VII, Section 747 grants. 

“Our analysis shows that the changes in the law have led to changes in the funded applications…,” Klink writes. “Broad implementation of successful faculty development strategies will prepare the next generation of primary care physicians to implement and use new models of care, and improve patient care and outcomes. The ACA has facilitated opportunities for such innovation and will continue to do so as national health reform moves forward.”


About the Robert Graham Center

The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care works to improve individual and population health by enhancing the delivery of primary care. The Center staff generates and analyzes evidence that brings a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations at local, state, and national levels.

Founded in 1999, the Robert Graham Center is an independent research unit affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The information and opinions contained in research from the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the AAFP.