Increasing attention has been devoted to the important role that primary care will play in improving population health. One innovation, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), aims to unite a variety of professionals with patients in the prevention and treatment of illness. Although patient perspectives are critical to this model, this article questions whether the PCMH in practice is truly community-based. That is, do physicians, planners, and other health care professionals take seriously the value of integrating local knowledge into medical care? The argument presented is that community-based philosophy contains a foundational principle that the perspectives of health care practitioners and community members must be integrated. Although many proponents of the PCMH aim to offer patient-centered and sustainable health care, focusing on this philosophical shift will ensure that services are organized by communities in collaboration with health care professionals.
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