CCHN endorses and supports the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) approach to providing comprehensive primary care.
In 2008, the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) began the PCMH Recognition Program by developing a set of standards for practices to organize care around patients, working in teams and coordinating and tracking care over time. PCMH enhances the quality of patient care through the Chronic Care Model and facilitates partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians who are trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care. Care is coordinated and/or integrated across all elements of the complex health care system (e.g., subspecialty care, hospitals, home health agencies, nursing homes) and the patient’s community (e.g., family, public and private community-based services).
CCHN has assisted 7 local practices in reaching Level 3 of PCMH 2008, the highest recognition that could be achieved for that specific set of standards. Practices that have achieved NCQA’s PCMH Recognition can take advantage of financial incentives that health plans, employers, federal and state-sponsored pilot programs offer.
Moving forward CCHN will assist practices in achieving the new PCMH 2011, which builds on the success of the earlier standards and make the program even more responsive to patients’ needs. Although the standards have always pointed practices toward using systems—including electronic health records—to support tracking care, PCMH 2011 aligns closely with many elements of another CCHN-endorsed program, Meaningful Use, which rewards clinicians for using health information technology to improve quality.