What if medical providers were paid to keep people healthy? That's the idea behind Patient Centered Medical Homes.

Nearly 30 medical practices across Montana, including two in Missoula, are participating in a new program run by Montana Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen called Patient Centered Medical Homes. Spokeswoman for Lindeen's office Jennifer McKee said on Friday, March 7, that the medical home concept is much like that of a pediatrician reminding new parents about the care of a new baby.

"That's how a PCMH is structured," McKee said. "Someone other than the patient is keeping track of preventive care, wellness care and other kinds of complimentary treatments that might go into keeping people healthy. It's especially useful for the management of chronic and complex diseases like diabetes."

McKee said commissioner Lindeen brought all the parties together to create this new system.

"Everyone who is involved with the system of needing health care, providing for health care and paying for health care is involved," McKee said. "Commissioner Lindeen brought all these parties together, and they worked together to build this model legislation of what a PCMH program in Montana should look like and how it should work."

There are two qualified medical practices in Missoula utilizing the Patient Centered Medical Home Program. They are Partnership Health center and Grant Creek Family Medicine, affiliated with Providence medical Group.

Spokeswoman for Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee