Healthcare Business News

NCQA seeks comment on medical-home recognition revisions

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: June 20, 2013 - 1:45 pm ET

The National Committee for Quality Assurance is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to its patient-centered medical home recognition program standards, which it says will better reflect healthcare trends such as the growing emphasis on outcome measures.

The NCQA, which has recognized 5,730 practices as medical homes since 2008, will be taking public comments on its website until 5 p.m. Eastern standard time on July 22.

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The revised standards would raise the number of elements that apply to pediatric practices, integrate behavioral healthcare into primary care and continue the program's alignment with HHS Stage 2 Meaningful Use health information technology requirements, according to a news release. The revisions are the product of 19-member advisory committee chaired by Dr. Randall Curnow, chief medical officer for Summit Medical Group, a 220-doctor, Knoxville, Tenn.-based physician group.

Specific proposals include increasing access through “nontraditional types of clinical encounters” such as structured e-visits, group visits and scheduled telephone encounters; having more than 5% of patients view their electronic health information and have the ability to download it or transmit it to a third party; and having more than 20% of patients record their family medical history into a structured and searchable electronic record system.

The current program standards were released in January 2011. The stated goals behind that iteration were to “enhance patient-centeredness” and to strengthen the links between the NCQA standards and a practice's quality and efficiency improvement.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks

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