WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) passed a major milestone in September, as the 6,000th medical practice earned NCQA Recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).
“One benefit of PCMH has been fewer costly emergency department and hospital admissions. Patients get the access, personal attention and care coordination from their primary doctor that they need and deserve.”
Starting from 38 practices in 2008, when the NCQA PCMH program debuted, there are now 29,505 recognized clinicians in 49 states, or roughly 15 percent of all primary care practices nationwide.
Government and private sector initiatives in 38 states have used the NCQA model to support the spread of medical homes.
“The growth of PCMH recognition shows that practices are serious about providing the best kind of care for their patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “One benefit of PCMH has been fewer costly emergency department and hospital admissions. Patients get the access, personal attention and care coordination from their primary doctor that they need and deserve.”
The NCQA model is the most widely accepted PCMH model in the country. Growing evidence shows that PCMHs offer improved access to care and improved quality.,,,, That means:
- Patients have enhanced access to care through expanded hours and electronic communication.
- Patients have long-term partnerships with clinicians, not a series of sporadic, hurried visits.
- Clinician-led teams coordinate care, especially for prevention and chronic conditions.
- Medical homes coordinate other clinicians’ care and community resources, as needed.
- Patients participate in decisions about their care to get better results.
In 2011, NCQA released updated PCMH standards that call for practices to be more patient-centered and that reinforce federal “meaningful use” incentives for primary care practices to adopt health information technology. NCQA will update the standards again in 2014.
To learn more about PCMH, visit www.ncqa.org/pcmh.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.
 Impact of Medical Homes on Quality Healthcare Utilization and Costs, DeVries, A, Chia-Hsuan W, Sridhar G; Hummel, J; Breidbart, S, Barron, J. AMJC 2012; http://www.ajmc.com/publications/issue/2012/2012-9-vol18-n9/Impact-of-Medical-Homes-on-Quality-Healthcare-Utilization-and-Costs#sthash.vuXFYJRA.dpuf
Colorado’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Pilot Met Numerous Obstacles, Yet Saw Results Such As Reduced Hospital Admissions, Harbrecht, Health Affairs, September 2012
Achieving Better Quality of Care for Low-Income Populations: The Role of Health Insurance and the Medical Home for Reducing Health Inequities, Berenson, Commonwealth Fund, May 2012
 Impact of Medical Homes on Quality, Healthcare Utilization and Costs, DeVries, American Journal of Managed Care, September 2012
 The Group Health Medical Home At Year Two: Cost Savings, Higher Patient Satisfaction, And Less Burnout For Providers, Reid, Health Affairs, May 2010
 Patient Experience Over Time in Patient-Centered Medical Homes, Kern, American Journal of Managed Care, May 2013