NEW ORLEANS—An on-site model of pediatric neurology care that brings itinerant specialists into a community health center results in better outcomes and lower costs than a traditional staffing model, according to research that was presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
“This study … examined access and utilization of pediatric neurologic care as a metric of both quality and cost in two different medical homes in the city of Boston,” said David K. Urion, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
In both models of medical homes, a personal physician leads a team of health care professionals—including specialists—in providing care, noted Dr. Urion. He and his colleagues studied one medical home that operated under the traditional model of patient referral to a tertiary care hospital. The other medical home used an open-booking model of itinerant specialists, often described as an on-site or co-located model. “That is, the provider goes to the patient, on the patient’s terms,” said Dr. Urion.
Traditional Versus Itinerant
According to Dr. Urion, the two medical homes used in the study serve similar populations of approximately 15,000 persons. The populations are in predominantly Latino neighborhoods in Boston and have comparable socioeconomic status and age mixes.