Governor Matt Mead is supporting an initiative to deliver primary care through medical homes. Medical homes are directly linked to lower health care costs and improved outcomes for some patients. The $250,000 in funding from Governor Mead and the Legislature is providing assistance for 16 medical practices to explore medical homes. The Wyoming Integrated Care Network and a consultant are assisting interested practices. Two hospitals in Wyoming already support medical practices, which have implemented the medical home model.
According to Governor Mead, "Medical homes are a solution driven by the private market and they have shown promise in improving the delivery of health care in Wyoming. Specifically, medical homes could reduce costs and improve outcomes in a way that respects the needs of Wyoming people. I thank the physicians and health care providers who are willing to explore this model, and I appreciate patients who choose to see if this option works for them."
Governor Mead has laid out a health care strategy directed at improving affordability and accessibility of care with improved value of care for people across Wyoming. This strategy looks to improve health outcomes, improving care for individuals, and maintaining or reducing per capita costs of care.
"Medical homes show a lot of promise. They provide an alternative for physicians and health care professionals on how care is provided and this model rewards better patient outcomes and better coordination of care," Governor Mead said.
Medical homes refer to a team-based approach to providing health care. Primary and specialty care providers coordinate and collaborate. This team of health care professionals work together to meet each patient's needs. Through better coordinated care, patients with chronic illnesses stay healthier, have fewer complications, and use fewer hospital and specialty services.
Patients of a pilot medical home operating in Cheyenne saw a reduction in emergency room visits and in avoidable hospital admissions. At the same time these patients had improved health outcomes.
"Medical homes present a great opportunity for Wyoming as we continue to explore options to improve our health care system. They match up with the philosophy of many doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. We look forward to seeing if this is successful and can be a part of health care reform," Governor Mead said.