Nine Questions About My New Medical Home

By Matthew Anderson
Health Affairs Blog, March 17, 2014

Sometime in the past five years — it’s hard for me to say exactly when — I suddenly found myself living in a new home.  I must admit I am still a bit disoriented by how this happened. But it did. People keep telling me that everything will be ok but I am not entirely sure.

1. Is this a home or is it a hostel?

2. Will my old friends still be welcome in my new home?

3. Does Mommy love me or is she just paid to say so?

4. Why are we playing computer games during family time?

5. Are there any family secrets left?

6. Everyone tells me how important I am, so why is my allowance being cut?

7. Do I have to go to Church now?

8. Can we get some family therapy?

9. Can’t we afford a better home?

There was a time when family medicine saw itself as a counter-culture in medicine with a mission to incorporate a different set of values.  Our job should be to improve the wellbeing and health of our patients and their communities, not the bottom line of the corporations who thrive off our labor.

Such a dream will not happen until health care is seen as a public good instead of a private commodity.  A national health system, it seems, is the only economically rational and humane way forward.

What is a patient-centered medical home? To some it means the place you go to get health care – full primary care and a convenient and efficient entry path into more specialized services. To others it means a way of organizing the business of health care to make it more accountable for reducing costs, guided by the dictates of private insurers and government bureaucrats implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Matthew Anderson’s nine questions about the nature of the medical home should serve as a teaser to read the full article on the Health Affairs Blog. It is not simply about the medical home concept, but it questions the whole direction in which our health care system is headed. Not only should you read it, but you should download it and share it with others.

Dr. Anderson has the right values. He is a driving force behind The Social Medicine Portal (An Alternative to Corporate Health) and an editor of the journal, “Social Medicine.”

The Social Medicine Portal: http://www.socialmedicine.org/welcome-to-the-social-medicine-portal/

Social Medicine: http://www.socialmedicine.info/index.php/socialmedicine/index

Repeating his astute words, “Our job should be to improve the wellbeing and health of our patients and their communities, not the bottom line of the corporations who thrive off our labor. Such a dream will not happen until health care is seen as a public good instead of a private commodity.  A national health system, it seems, is the only economically rational and humane way forward.”