New NCQA Program Extends Medical Home Concepts Beyond Primary Care

New NCQA Program Extends Medical Home Concepts Beyond Primary Care

Today the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) extended concepts of the patient-centered medical home by launching a new evaluation program for specialists outside of primary care: NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PSCP) Recognition.

The new program is modeled on NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition program, the most widely adopted medical home model in the country. Under PCSP, specialty practices committed to improving access, communication and care coordination can earn accolades as the “neighbors” that surround and inform the medical home and colleagues in primary care.

“NCQA’s Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition is an important step forward. I sincerely hope the specialty community embraces it, just as the primary care world has embraced the patient-centered medical home,” said Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, creator of the Chronic Care Model.

The PCSP program recognizes specialty practices that:

The PCSP program is aligned with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record Incentive Program’s Meaningful Use criteria in recognition of the importance of health information technology as a tool for coordinating information and clinical care. NCQA will use Stage 1 criteria to evaluate practices until Stage 2 takes effect in October 2014.

NCQA offers three levels of PCSP recognition. Level 1 represents a practice that meets the minimum score of 25 points (out of 100) and meets the mandatory elements. Practices earning additional points can qualify for higher levels of recognition, allowing growth within the PCSP program over time.

The standards for the new program are available for free . A March 18, 2013, Webinar in which NCQA leaders and three physician-advisors who helped design the PCSP program discussed it and answered common questions is .

Sixty-four organizations have enrolled to be early adopters of the PCSP program. They have committed to finishing key parts of the recognition process by the end of 2013, in exchange for pricing discounts and publicity support. The early adopters are:

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care 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 is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.