WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) will hold its first regional conference in Chicago, Illinois, on October 25th, organized around the defining elements of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH). The conference will help participants understand "the nuts and bolts" of those elements, which include comprehensive team-based care; engaging patients and families as partners; coordinating care across the medical neighborhood; superb access to care; and a systems-based approach to quality and safety. The meeting will conclude with a keynote by health economist Dr. Len Nichols, PhD, on the need for payment reform to support practice transformation. "Primary care practices are looking for tools and strategies to help transform their practice into a medical home focused on patients and their families – as are many employers, health care administrators, and health plans. This conference will provide participants with these tools, and help them understand how payment reform is key to making it all work," said Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer of the PCPCC. "We are thrilled that Len Nichols, an internationally known economist and speaker, will be with us to give us his perspective on the future of payment reform to support health system transformation." Dr. Nichols, Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University, is a leading expert in health economics and well-known thought leader on payment reform in support of primary care. He will deliver the keynote address at the PCPCC Fall Conference, on October 25th in Chicago. Speakers will discuss issues of integrating behavioral health and medication management into the care team, exchange views on cultural diversity and health literacy in primary care, and address the active engagement of employers, health plans and purchasers in advancing the PCMH.