Clinics Achieve NCQA Level 3 Recognition
The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011 standards emphasize the use of a systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care model that supports access, communication, and patient involvement and builds partnerships between clinicians, patients, and patients’ families.
Four Kaleida Health clinics — Hertel Elmwood Internal Medicine, Hodge Pediatrics, the Primary Medicine Center at Buffalo General Medical Center and Towne Garden Pediatrics — recently achieved recognition as Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the NCQA, the highest recognition level possible. To achieve Level 3 recognition, Kaleida Health’s clinics passed a rigorous examination of their processes and demonstrated that their efforts are focused around providing coordinated care for patients.
The NCQA recognition, which is good for three years, aligns Kaleida Health with the goals of the Hospital-Medical Home Demonstration Project enacted by New York State to help residency programs adopt patient-centered practices. The designation also allows for higher reimbursements from various payers.
Care providers at the clinics achieved Level 3 recognition by working together to provide patients with the care and education they need to support a healthier lifestyle, including smoking cessation programs, nutritional education to combat health concerns and disease specific education classes.
The long-term goals of these partnerships is to improve overall community health, including reducing hospital admissions by encouraging patients to take advantage of the preventative tools available, such as flu shots, and improve compliance in disease specific routine testing.
"The PCMH model represents a significant change for doctors, patients and support staff," said Jessica Glaser, quality improvement project coordinator and PCMH coordinator. "Everyone in our clinics has really risen to the occasion, and I am so proud of them. They faced a massive undertaking and, in a short time, made a huge impact."
Considerable success has already been reached in some of these initiatives. For example, in the first year of PCMH, the two adult internal medicine sites increased annual lipids testing for patients with high cholesterol. The testing allows clinicians to have patients’ most up-to-date medical information to monitor and treat them appropriately.
As the program continues to grow, the care team is working to refine clinic processes and perform quality improvement activities. In addition, a new medical residency scheduling initiative will allow residents to spend more time in Kaleida Health’s primary care clinics.
About the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare 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’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed healthcare choices.