Laura Merrick: Medical Home Network wants to reinforce the centrality of the medical home

Laura Merrick: Medical Home Network wants to reinforce the centrality of the medical home

When you hear the phrase “medical home”, you might think of a nursing home, but actually, a medical home is a place where a patient can receive everything they need for primary care (such as behavioral health, community resources, etc.)

Laura Merrick, Operations Project Manager of Medical Home Network, shares how their work not only affects the primary care community, but also hospitals.

Here is a transcript from our conversation with Laura. You can watch the entire interview here.

Laura Merrick Interview

Hoala Greevy: Howzit, this is Hoala Greevy, Founder CEO of Paubox. We’re here at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas. I’m here with Laura Merrick and she’s with Medical Home Network. I just met her a few minutes ago, so let’s get started with another version of HIPAA Center. Laura, thanks for joining us.

Laura Merrick: Thank you for having me.

Hoala Greevy: Can you tell us more about the scope of your work at Medical Home Network?

Laura Merrick: Certainly, certainly. So Medical Home Network is a formal provider collaborative that was founded and funded in Chicago, Illinois. Our focus was improving healthcare delivery and innovation, focusing on reinforcing the centrality of the medical home.

So we began our work about 9 years ago, bringing providers together to share around a common vision to support the Medicaid patients that were so disparately separated across the southside of Chicago.

We had several opportunities along the way and one of those was that we formed a Medicaid ACO known as the MHN ACO.

So the Medical Home Network ACO, known as MHN ACO, supports 9 federally qualified health centers and 3 Hospital systems through an Innovative – through our Innovation and technology in healthcare delivery. We are connected with 25 hospitals around the county area and 180 unique medical homes to support the care for Medicaid recipients outside on the southside of Chicago.

Hoala Greevy: Medical home, is that a skilled nursing home? What exactly is that?

Laura Merrick: No, don’t let our name fool you. At the time, when we first started the work we were really focused on, reinforcing Primary Care – a term for a medical home is a term where a patient can receive everything that they need around primary care. That might be access to behavioral health or Community Resources, and it’s a place where they can not only seek the care that they need but also the help to get the care that they need by their care manager.

So the network that we created in the beginning of our work was really about bringing providers together both in that medical home setting to drive that primary care model. We were able to do that with not only the primary care community but also hospitals, and really drive communication and that was really key to really engaging and reaching patients.

Hoala Greevy: Healthcare is notorious for lack of. Definitely.

Laura Merrick: Right.

Hoala Greevy: So MHN has been around for 9 years if I heard you correctly. How long have you been with the company?

Laura Merrick: Since it was founded, I believe it was 2008. I was one of the second employees.

Hoala Greevy: Wow. So almost from the beginning.

Laura Merrick: Yes.

Hoala Greevy: Wow. So HIMSS18, what was your biggest takeaway from this year?

Laura Merrick: You know, I think for the work that we do, it’s validation that we’re on the right track: driving innovation across our area. That there are opportunities to share best practices with others that are doing the work that we’re doing across the nation, and that there is more that we can do around improving access to data, and ultimately the care for our patients.

Hoala Greevy: Laura, is HIMSS part of your annual conference schedule or is it your first time here?

Laura Merrick: It is my first time here.

Hoala Greevy: Oh wow. Well you picked the right location because last year it was Orlando, and I – this is more preferably for me. Closer and a bit more fun.

Laura Merrick: Yeah.

Hoala Greevy: Great, and last question – where do you see the future of your industry going?

Laura Merrick: I think it’s innovation, it’s healthcare innovation. And that is wrapped around not only technology but how we implement the technology and the meaning behind how we connect data to get access to care for these patients. So I really think it’s continued innovation to empower care management activities, to empower reaching beyond the healthcare ecosystem into the community, and to really think a little bit bigger about how we really provide care.

Hoala Greevy: Man, Laura, thanks for submitting time with us, we really appreciate it. Nice to meet you. Aloha!

Medical Home Network

Medical Home Network (MHN) is a not-for-profit collaborative that has fundamentally changed how care is delivered.

Their proven model of care unites provider communities and diverse healthcare entities around a common goal: to redesign healthcare delivery and transform the way care is managed at the practice level.

Medical Home Network provides the tools and processes to help care teams engage patients and help them become an accountable member of the team. By connecting providers and delivering real-time information, they enable coordinated care management, improve transitions of care, and promote timely follow-up.

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About the author

Arianna Etemadieh

Arianna is an Inbound Marketing Specialist at Paubox. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and volunteering at the animal shelter.

Read more by Arianna Etemadieh

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