“The American Academy of Family Physicians is staking their whole future on the medical home,” Dr. Terry McGeeney told an audience of about 150 physicians at the AAFP’s Scientific Assembly in San Diego in September 2008. This assertion rattled me. Knowing I would be presenting at this same national conference in one hour, I started feeling somewhat uncomfortable. At that point, I had never heard of a “medical home,” and the AAFP was betting their whole future on it. I would soon be speaking at a national meeting for the first time in my professional career, and my thought was “Maybe I'm out of my league.”

As I continued listening to Dr. McGeeney, however, the comfort started returning. He described in detail the responsibilities of a medical home --access and timely communication with a familiar physician, a practice-based care team, EMR functionality, quality improvement benchmarks, coordination with other medical entities and population management. The relaxation grew because these were things we had been doing well in my practice for the past several years, but it certainly had not always been that way.

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