The purpose of this study was to assess whether primary care practices certified as medical homes differ in having the practice systems required for that designation and in attaining favorable outcomes for their patients with diabetes, and whether those systems are associated with better diabetes outcomes.
We undertook a cross-sectional observational study, Understanding Infrastructure Transformation Effects on Diabetes (UNITED), of 586 Minnesota adult primary care practices, comparing those that were certified vs uncertified as medical homes in 2017, with analyses supplemented by previously published studies of these practices. We collected survey information about the presence of medical home practice systems for diabetes care and obtained 6 standardized measures of diabetes care collected yearly from all Minnesota practices.
Of 416 practices completing questionnaires (71% of all practices, 92% of participating practices), 394 had data on diabetes care measures. Uncertified practices (39%) were more likely than certified practices to be rural, but their patient populations were similar. Certified practices had more medical home practice systems (79.2% vs 74.9%, =.01) and were more likely to meet a composite measure of optimal diabetes care (46.8% vs 43.2%, <.001). A 1-SD increase in presence of practice systems was associated with a 1.4% higher probability of meeting that measure ( <.001).
Practices certified as medical homes have more practice systems and higher performance on diabetes care than uncertified practices, but there is extensive overlap, and any differences may reflect self-selection for certification.

© 2020 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.