Joint Commission to offer medical home accreditation

Beginning in July 2011, practices pursuing the Joint Commission's Ambulatory Care Accreditation Program will be able to also become accredited as a primary medical home.

The accreditor will join organizations such as the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care in providing physician practices an option to become specially designated under the model, which features a team-based approach to care with a strong focus on preventive care as well as patient/family education and self-management of conditions.

"This new optional program will help ensure that patients receive ambulatory care services in a manner that is comprehensive, accessible and coordinated. By focusing on carefully orchestrating care, patient outcomes can be improved," Michael Kulczycki, executive director of the Joint Commission's Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program, said in a statement.

The new program seeks to help organizations meet the challenges of implementing the medical home while achieving key objectives. Specifically, the Primary Care Home option is intended to help accredited organizations increase patient satisfaction, improve patient outcomes and reduce the overall costs to the healthcare system.

In addition to a Primary Care Home Initiative Expert Panel guiding the development of supplemental ambulatory care accreditation standards for organizations that elect the Primary Care Home option, a broader advisory group, including representatives from national and state organizations and trade associations as well as other interested stakeholders, will help implement the initiative. The Joint Commission also is seeking feedback from Medicare and Medicaid officials and insurance companies to ensure that the Primary Care Home standards will enable organizations to be eligible for enhanced reimbursement.

To learn more:
- read the press release from the Joint Commission