Briefs and Reports

Advancing Health Equity Through Medical Homes

Executive Summary

Medical homes are trusted home bases where individuals have ongoing relationships with primary care physicians who provide and coordinate all needed care, and with whom they work together on maintaining health.

While the ideal of an ongoing relationship with a physician who provides and coordinates care has existed for nearly 50 years, increasing evidence shows that establishing medical homes can improve health outcomes, advance health equity, and potentially reduce costs. Many health plans and employers, most states, and the federal government are implementing activities to establish medical homes.

Disparities in how health care is provided, and differences in circumstances that affect how healthy some patients are, weaken communities by unfairly burdening certain groups. In addition, when some have less access to good care, don’t have illnesses properly diagnosed, or don’t have access to treatment until they are sicker, health care costs rise for everyone.

Medical homes will customize and improve care by making sure that doctors know their patients well, have access to their patients’ medical histories and records, and can share information in ways that will enable patients to take better care of themselves.


  • Ignatius Bau is an independent health policy consultant working with organizations including the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Consumers Union, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Council of Asian & Pacific Islander Physicians, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.