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AAFP, Other Groups Approve Guidelines for Standardization of PCMH Recognition Programs
By Barbara Bein
According to Bruce Bagley, M.D., AAFP medical director of quality improvement, two nonprofit groups -- the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (3-page PDF; About PDFs) -- already have established recognition or accreditation programs. Two other nonprofit organizations -- The Joint Commission and URAC (formerly known as the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission) -- are expected to have programs in place by the middle of this year.
AAFP Resources Designed to Help Achieve PCMH Recognition
Members also should check out the many PCMH-related tools and resources available from the AAFP's wholly owned subsidiary, TransforMed, including its Medical Home Implementation Quotient, or MHIQ, medical practice self-assessment. MHIQ lets physicians gauge where their practice is in the journey to becoming a PCMH by measuring the practice's performance across nine core sets of competencies.
The original PCMH joint principles comprise seven foundational components:
- the concept of the personal physician,
- a physician-directed, team-based approach to medical practice,
- a whole-person orientation,
- coordinated and integrated care,
- quality and safety,
- enhanced access, and
- appropriate payment framework.
- address the complete scope of primary care services;
- ensure the incorporation of patient and family-centered care, emphasizing engagement of patients, their families and their caregivers;
- engage multiple stakeholders in the development and implementation of the programs;
- identify essential standards, elements and characteristics;
- align standards, elements, characteristics and/or measures with "meaningful use" requirements;
- address the core concept of continuous improvement that is central to the PCMH model;
- allow for innovative ideas;
- acknowledge care coordination within the medical neighborhood;
- clearly identify PCMH recognition or accreditation requirements for training programs;
- ensure transparency in program structure and "scoring";
- apply reasonable documentation and data collection requirements, and
- conduct evaluations of program effectiveness and implement improvements.
"The medical home can't be a referral hub that just sends patients to a (sub)specialist," said Bagley. "The comprehensive, personalized nature of care and the team approach are the essential things."
Bagley also noted that these recognition and accreditation systems are oriented to processes and are not designed to address the efficiency and economic benefits of the medical home in the health care system.
"It is important to realize that none of these recognition programs gives a complete and fair assessment of the value of primary care to patient outcomes or to the system in terms of cost savings," he said.
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More From AAFP
Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home
(3-page PDF; About PDFs)
Joint Principles for the Medical Education of Physicians as Preparation for Practice in the Patient-Centered Medical Home
(12-page PDF; About PDFs)
How the AAFP Is Supporting the PCMH Movement