Person-Centered Care

Defining key terms:

  • Integrated Care: Health care services that address patients’ physical, mental, behavioral, and social needs.
  • Person-centered Care: Integrated health care services delivered in a setting and manner that is responsive to the individual and their goals, values and preferences, in a system that empowers patients and providers to make effective care plans together.
  • Value-based Care: A system in which payments to health care providers are tied to the quality of care given to patients, as opposed to the number of services provided.

The relationship between value-based care and person-centered care

In a value-based health care system, doctors and other health care providers deliver high-quality care using a person-centered care approach. This differs from a traditional fee-for-service system where patients get their health care from multiple, siloed specialists who focus on a specific health issue rather than patients’ comprehensive, long-term needs.

Person-centered care includes:

  • Care that’s guided and informed by patients’ goals, preferences, and values
  • Success measured by patient-reported outcomes 
  • Integrated and coordinated care across health systems, providers, and care settings
  • Managing chronic and complex conditions 
  • Relationships built on trust and a commitment to long-term well-being

What does person-centered care mean for patients?


What does person-centered care mean for health care providers?

Person-centered care allows patients to make informed decisions about their treatment and well-being. They have a team of primary care providers, specialists, and other health care providers who know them, listen to them, and are accountable for their care. Doctors and other healthcare professionals who provide person-centered care help patients manage their health care by providing tools and services that align with their patients’ preferences and values so they can reach their health goals.   Person-centered care means doctors and other health care providers work collaboratively with patients and other health care providers to do what is best for the patients’ health and well-being. It offers health care providers the necessary supports like access to patients’ health data to understand their patient’s comprehensive needs. By providing doctors and other health care providers with this big-picture information, they are better equipped to develop care plans that include empathy, dignity and respect with patients, their families, and other caregivers.


An example of person-centered care

Image depicting the person who needs care at the center of a care network

Tyler meets with his doctor about breathing problems and is diagnosed with asthma. In addition to prescribing Tyler a rescue inhaler to treat the symptoms, his doctor follows up with a telehealth visit to identify contributing factors, including smoking and his current living conditions, and develop a treatment plan. Together they come up with a comprehensive plan that considers Tyler’s related health, behavioral, and social needs. For example, the plan includes connecting Tyler with a smoking cessation program when he is ready to quit. The plan also leverages community partners and public services who can help him understand what in his apartment might contribute to his asthma and where he can get help to improve his living situation. 



For more information about the CMS Innovation Center’s new strategy and the future of value-based care, visit our Strategic Direction webpage.