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Patient-Centered Care

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Health care homes coordinate services around the needs of patients and families

A health care home is an approach to delivering primary care where there is a partnership between the patient, medical provider and other specialists to coordinate care.  A clinic or medical provider that is certified as a health care home in Minnesota offers personalized care with a team of providers and specialists committed to meeting your health care needs and improving your health.  Minnesota began establishing health care homes in 2007 and health reform continues these efforts by increasing the number of health care homes available across the state.  

The health care home provides a continuous relationship with a medical provider and helps you with the necessary transitions from one type of medical provider to another. Your care is focused on you as a whole person, not just one part or problem.  When you have a health care need, you make one call to your health care home team who knows you, knows your personal situation and health history and can help guide you through the health care system.

Studies indicate health care homes can actually lower health care costs. Patients have fewer hospitalizations, and are treated sooner and monitored-staying healthier. People receiving care in a health care home also miss fewer days of work and school.

Is a Health Care Home a place?

No, health care homes is NOT a place, a nursing home or a home health care provider. It is a way to receive health care where there is a partnership between you-the patient, the medical provider, your family and other specialists in helping to coordinate care.

A clinic or medical provider that is certified as a health care home in Minnesota offers personalized care in partnership with your team of providers and specialists to meet your health care needs and improve your health.

How does a clinic or medical provider become a certified health care home?

Certified health care home clinics or providers must meet five standards developed by the community and monitored by the Minnesota Department of Health.

How do I know if my clinic or medical provider is a certified health care home?

If you do not know, ask your primary care provider. You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Health website to search for your primary care provider or find a health care home near you.

Many certified health care homes will display a seal that signifies their certification.

How does a Health Care Home work?

In a health care home, if you see a lot of doctors or specialists or if you have a chronic illness or a complex medical condition, you can have a health care team dedicated to helping you achieve your best health.

Typically, this team includes your primary care provider (doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner), a care coordinator along with professionals specific to your individual requirements, such as pharmacists, physical therapists, nutritionists, health educators, community health workers and more. Family members and caregivers can also be part of your team.

When you need a specialist, your health care team assists with coordinating qualified professionals and follow-up on each stage of your care.

You are treated as the central member of your health care team. As partners, you and your health care team work together to plan your care based on your needs.

Is a Health Care Home a place?

No, a health care homes is NOT a place, a nursing home or a home health care provider. It is a way to receive health care where there is a partnership between you-the patient, the medical provider, your family and other specialists in helping to coordinate care.

A clinic or medical provider that is certified as a health care home in Minnesota offers personalized care in partnership with your team of providers and specialists to meet your health care needs and improve your health.

How does health reform increase the availability of health care homes in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s health care home program began in 2007 and has been growing ever since.  The Affordable Care Act provides additional opportunities to increase the number of health care homes in Minnesota by providing incentives for clinics and providers to participate in the program.

How does a clinic or medical provider become a certified health care home?

Certified health care home clinics or providers must meet five standards developed by the community and monitored by the Minnesota Department of Health.

How do I know if my clinic or medical provider is a certified health care home?

If you do not know, ask your primary care provider. You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Health website to search for your primary care provider or find a health care home near you.  Many certified health care homes will display a seal that signifies their certification.

What is the benefit of using a health care home?

A health care home is designed to help you meet all of your health care needs, connecting you to specialists, health care services, support networks and community services. In a health care home, you are a partner with your primary care provider and health care team and your care is coordinated with you and your family. This helps eliminate duplication and missed care and allows for more proactive treatment, and coordination of appointments, tests and things you may need.

Do I have to sign up or enroll?

If you are interested in receiving care coordination services from a certified health care home or have any questions, you can find more information by asking your primary care provider or find certified health care homes by visiting the Minnesota Department of Health website.

If I choose a health care home will I still be able to see my chosen specialists?

A health care home is NOT a restrictive network. You will be able to choose the best medical provider and specialists for your needs. Your care coordinator will help you choose the best team for your needs and help you share information with your care team so your specialists are aware of your health history.

What if I go to multiple clinics that are not in the same health system?

A health care home is NOT a restrictive network. You will be able to choose the best medical provider and specialists for your needs. Care may be restricted by personal health insurance plans. Costs of care are dependent on individual health care plans.

How is my personal information shared between my primary care provider and specialists?

A care coordinator will help oversee the coordination of your health care team and sharing of information. You will provide written permission on who your team can share information with about you. Your privacy is very important to your health care team.

What if I do not have a primary care provider?

You can easily find a primary care provider to meet your needs by either calling your insurance provider’s customer service number or by visiting their website. To find a certified health care home provider, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website to find a provider near you.

Can I use a health care home for general office visits? Urgent care visits?

Yes, a health care home is designed to help you meet all of your health care needs, from preventive care and care of common illnesses, to urgent care and treatment of chronic and complex conditions. Some patients may not need a care coordinator. You and your primary care provider will decide this together.

Does a health care home reduce my health care costs?

A health care home will help you plan for better health. By eliminating duplication in care and reminding you of what care you need and when, a health care home will help keep you healthy. This may help you avoid unnecessary care costs.

How will this work with my insurance?

Care may be restricted by personal health insurance plans. Costs of care are dependent on individual health care plans.

What if I do not have insurance?

If you do not have health insurance, check the Minnesota Department of Human Services website under Minnesota Health Care Programs to find out if you are eligible for one of the programs

You may also talk with your clinic to set up a payment plan.

If you do not have a clinic, Minnesota has high quality, affordable community health centers to meet your health care needs. To find a community health center near to you check the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers website.

How can I make the most of my experience with my health care home?

You are the most important member to your health care team. Look to your health care team as a resource, not just people you see when you are sick or need an appointment. The relationships created by a health care home allow for more meaningful conversations with your provider and specialists. A health care home helps you plan for better health.

How do I find a provider or clinic that is certified as a health care home?

Visit the Minnesota Department of health website to find a health care home near you or look for clinics that display a seal that signifies their certification as a health care home.