The NCQA‘s Patient-Centered Medical Home program has been running since 2008 but over the past few years it has gone through some substantial revisions. Now the NCQA is asking for people in field, both who are providing care and receiving care, to help make the PCMH program the best it can be. Here are the basics you need to know:

The Low Down | Patient Centered Medical Home Program

First things first, what exactly is a Patient Center Medical Home? “The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines a medical home not simply as a place but as a model of the organization of primary care that delivers the core functions of primary health care.” Essentially it a model or a way of “organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication.”

The Re-Redesign

The NCQA announced in March that after taking into account all the recommendations and critiques about the PCHM program (from the designers of the program to the people who work in PCHMs), they would be embarking on a new ambitious redesign of the program. The plan is to “enhance the value of NCQA recognition programs for patients and their families, clinicians, employers, payers, and other stakeholders (such as federal and state agencies).” Here are 4 of the key focus points*:


Proposed Changes | Specifics

In addition to asking for feedback and hoping to focus on the aforementioned focus points the NCQA has also proposed that the following specific area go under review for a big change. The following is directly from the NCQA press release*:

  • Offering a variety of educational activities to support practice transformation.
  • Reducing the documentation burden.
  • Introducing opportunities for virtual demonstration of processes.
  • Using information generated in the course of daily clinical care to support the recognition process.
  • Expanding the health IT pre-validation program so that practices can automatically attain points towards recognition.
  • Redesigning our online survey tool to be more user-friendly and efficient.
  • Engaging practices in a streamlined annual check-in rather than requiring a full documentation review every three years. (The new process will ask practices to demonstrate that the changes made during the initial recognition effort have been anchored in their day-to-day culture, and that they continue to enhance their patient-centered approach to care.)

What You Need To Do

If you are PCMH provider or a person receiving care you can give you feedback to the NCQA on the PCMH program. All you have to do is send over an email to will your feedback. This open dialogue is great way for the NCQA to improve its programming. What do you think? Should more organizations follow in the footsteps of the NCQA and start dialogues with their client and patients to help improve healthcare accreditation processes?

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