New evaluation program to weave clinics into network of patient-centered care
WASHINGTON — The National Committee for Quality Assurance announced on Wednesday the launch of its newest evaluation program, Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition. The program responds to the growing number of choices available to consumers selecting care beyond a traditional primary care physician, such as retail-based health clinics.
Patient-Centered Connected Care recognizes ambulatory care providers that communicate and connect with primary care providers as they deliver care to shared patients. As more Americans receive care in nontraditional settings — retail-based clinics, urgent care centers, onsite employee health and school-based clinics — coordination of care can suffer, according to the NCQA.
Payers and states are increasingly rewarding practitioners who provide improved patient care and cost savings. The patient-centered medical home model of care — one in which care is centrally coordinated and tracked by one primary care provider — has become the standard by which primary care can achieve better patient care and lower costs.
The Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition Program aligns with that model. It creates a roadmap for how sites delivering intermittent or outpatient treatment — but do not act as a primary care provider for a majority of its patients — can fit into the medical home neighborhood. Sites that demonstrate they follow NCQA Patient-Centered Connected Care standards are positioned to earn an NCQA seal.
“I commend organizations who adopt this model,” stated NCQA president Margaret O’Kane. “Patient-Centered Connected Care Recognition is a giant leap to reform health care delivery because it includes ambulatory care settings as well as other medical providers outside of primary and specialty care in the connected and coordinated care community.”
Sites that meet the following standards can earn the NCQA seal —
- Connecting With Primary Care: The site connects with and shares information with primary care providers.
- Identifying Patient Needs: The site directs patients to appropriate providers, when necessary.
- Patient Care and Support: The site uses evidence-based decision support in care delivery, collaborates with patients to make care decisions and delivers culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
- System Capabilities: The site uses electronic systems to collect data and execute tasks.
Measure and Improve Performance: The site systematically monitors performance and carries out activities to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience.