The Commonwealth Fund has released data from their 2013 International Health Policy Survey suggesting that adults with mental health concerns receive better quality and more cost-effective care when they use a medical home as compared to traditional separate care practices. Medical homes, or locations where multiple health practitioners coordinate care for shared patients, may also help to decrease the inequality of care between adults with and without mental illness.
According to the study, inequalities in care access appear when using several separate care practices. In this situation, adults with mental illness experience the following, as compared to their counterparts who do not report mental health difficulties:
- More issues with "care coordination," such as conflicting health information from different providers.
- Longer waiting periods for doctors to respond to their concerns.
- More frequent errors in their prescriptions.
- More costly care over all.
Furthermore, the survey found that "among those who [received care in a medical home], medical homes were associated with drops in the percentage of people who reported [these] care problems, even after adjusting for gender, race/ethnicity, income, and rural location."