New Orleans– Clinics throughout the Greater New Orleans area have received recognition as Physician Practice Connections—Patient Centered Medical Homes (PPC-PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA’s Physician Recognition Programs identify physicians who deliver care using standards firmly rooted in medical evidence. The 37 recognized clinics are under the management of 13 public and private non-profit organizations providing affordable primary and behavioral healthcare inOrleans, Jefferson, and St. Bernard Parishes.
The recognition was received through participation in a voluntary quality improvement incentive program offered to all 25 organizations participating in the Greater New Orleans Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant. The three-year, $100 million Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant is designed to meet the increasing demand for healthcare services in the greater New Orleans area while decreasing reliance on emergency room usage for conditions more effectively treated in a primary care setting. The federal grant was awarded to the Louisiana Department of Health by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in July 2007. The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) is administering the grant as the state’s local partner.
“Virtually every national study has affirmed that patient-centered medical homes are the bedrock for any sustainable improvement in our health delivery system,” said Alan Levine, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. “Patients participating in a medical home average 35 percent fewer hospital days and are more likely to receive appropriate therapies. I’m proud that these 37clinics, and the others that have not yet achieved the designation but are working toward it, recognize the value of certification, and I’m even more proud that the medical home system of care is the foundation for our Louisiana Health First reforms.”
Each of the 13 organizations that operate the clinics that met the rigorous requirements for recognition in this round of the quality improvement incentive program will receive a share of a $1.283 million incentive pool to be used to further the grant goals. This is the first of three such rounds of quality incentive payments available to all organizations participating in the grant program. The total incentive pool across three rounds will total $3.8 million, and the goal is to have as many of the 25 organizations participating in the Primary Care Access and Stabilization Grant as possible complete the recognition process by the end of 2009.
“This achievement is evidence of the enduring commitment of these organizations to provide much-needed, high quality health care in communities across the New Orleans area. People have a growing range of choices for health care they can trust and afford in their neighborhoods—regardless of whether they have health insurance,” said Clayton Williams, director of Health Systems Development at LPHI and the director of the federal grant program.
The NCQA standards for receiving this recognition are aligned with the joint principles of the AmericanAcademy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Collegeof Physicians (ACP), and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), which define the key characteristics of the patient-centered medical home.
The medical home strengthens the patient-physician relationship by replacing episodic care based on illnesses and complaints with coordinated care and a long-term healing relationship. These professional societies have defined the medical home as a model of care in which each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician who leads a team that takes collective responsibility for patient care. The physician-led care team is responsible for providing all the patient’s health care needs and, when needed, coordinating care across the health care system.
To be recognized as a patient-centered medical home, clinics need to demonstrate the ability to sufficiently meet the criteria of these standards and specifically pass at least five of the following 10 elements:
1. Written standards for patient access and patient communication
2. Use of data to show standards for patient access and communication are met
3. Use of paper or electronic charting tools to organize clinical information
4. Use of data to identify important diagnoses and conditions in practice
5. Adoption and implementation of evidence-based guidelines for three chronic conditions
6. Active patient self-management support
7. Systematic tracking of test results and identification of abnormal results
8. Referral tracking, using a paper or electronic system
9. Clinical and/or service performance measurement, by physician or across the practice
10. Performance reporting, by physician or across the practice
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and recognizes physicians in key clinical areas. Physician Practice Connections® -- Patient Centered Medical Home™ is a registered trademark of the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
For more information on the Primary Care Access and Stabilization grant program or a map and directory of clinics visit www.pcasg.org.
For more information, please contact
Clayton Williams, MPH