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Steinberg in Boston Globe op-ed: Patient-centered medical homes for homeless exemplify how to improve health care

Commonwealth Medicine deputy medical officer and co-authors enthusiastic about ‘model’ program

By Jennifer Rosinski

UMass Medical School Communications

January 13, 2014
  Judith Steinberg_LH 
  Judith L. Steinberg, MD, MPH

An opinion piece in today’s Boston Globe co-authored by Judith L. Steinberg, MD, MPH, illustrates how patient-centered medical homes improve health care for the homeless and exemplify how to improve health care for all. Dr. Steinberg, deputy chief medical officer for UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division, co-authored the op-ed with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program President Jim O’Connell, MD, and Chief Medical Officer Monica Bharel, MD.

The op-ed authors contend that health care for all can improve if we learn from the success of Boston Health Care for the Homeless, one of the 46 clinics and practices participating in the Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative. Dr. Steinberg is leading the multi-disciplinary team in implementing and evaluating the demonstration project, organized by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Boston Health Care for the Homeless, which cares for 12,000 people each year, has transformed itself under the Massachusetts initiative and shown an increase in screenings for cancer and depression and in vaccine rates. Teams at the program now huddle every morning to discuss that day’s patients, and hold weekly meetings to focus on patients with the most complex medical issues.

UMass Medical School’s practice facilitators support Boston Health Care for the Homeless and other participants with on-site guidance, and also host conferences, webinars and online courses to guide clinicians and staff through the transformation process.

To learn more about Commonwealth Medicine’s work in primary care practice transformation and patient-centered medical homes, visit the Center for Health Policy and Research website.