CareFirst, ACP boost provider access to online medical home tool

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has joined with the American College of Physicians (ACP) to make the latter's Medical Home Builder 2.0 available for free to 3,000 primary care providers who participate in CareFirst's patient-centered medical home (PCMH) program. The online tool is designed to help physician practices that regard themselves as medical homes improve care, organization, and workflow.

CareFirst PCMH practices that use MHB 2.0 will be part of an online community of PCMH practices, large and small, that are committed to improving patient care. Practices will have access to best-practice videos and a discussion board where questions can be posed to colleagues who are using the same educational tools.

Among the components of MHB 2.0 are:

  • Background information on PCMH;
  • The Practice Biopsy, a self-assessment that covers National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC), and draft Joint Commission standards;
  • A case study that shows how one practice used the findings generated by MHB 2.0;
  • A resource library that includes references and informative guides in a variety of formats, including downloadable guides and policy templates;
  • Reporting functions to help track progress over time, identify opportunities for improvement and compare practices.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has roughly 3.4 million individual and group members in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia. It will make the ACP MHB 2.0 tool available to providers starting this month.

ACP and CareFirst are not the only organizations trying to help practices become medical homes. NCQA recently endorsed the services of two other companies that help physicians meet its PCMH recognition criteria. In August, the organization said that athenahealth's PCMH accelerator program was "well positioned" to help practices achieve medical home recognition. More recently, NCQA said that Phytel's cloud-based services could be used to satisfy certain NCQA PCMH requirements. 

To learn more:
- check out the CareFirst/ACP press release