New PCMH Standards to Launch March 2014
NCQA has announced that a new 2014 version of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program will launch on March 24, 2014, and that the program will be renamed in the process. The name was apparently determined as part of a contest run by the NCQA over the last few months; NCQA has not announced the new name, but stated that the new program will not be called “PCMH 2014.”
The new program is designed to align more closely with Meaningful Use Stage 2, emphasize team-based care, align quality improvement activities with the triple aim, and put a care management focus on high need populations.
According to the announcement on the NCQA website, key changes to the PCMH program include:
Alignment with Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2)
- Clinicians at practices that meet the highest NCQA requirements are positioned to qualify for Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) bonuses; meeting MU2 requirements is sound preparation for NCQA PCMH evaluation.
Emphasis on team-based care
- Team-focused elements are in their own standard and emphasize including the patient as part of the care team.
Alignment of quality improvement activities with the triple aim
- Practices must show that they are trying to improve in all three domains (patient experience, cost and clinical quality).
- Practices’ quality improvement efforts must occur at least annually; NCQA may choose to audit for this requirement.
Care management focus on high-need populations
- The new standards call for identifying patients who may benefit from care management and self-care support.
- Practices will need to address social determinants of health, behavioral health, cost/utilization, poorly controlled or complex conditions and unique needs of patients referred by specialists.
NCQA also announced some important dates to keep in mind for submitting your PCMH 2011 tools and purchasing the new version:
- June 30, 2014 last date to purchase PMCH 2011 survey tools.
December 31, 2014 suggested last date to submit PCMH 2011 corporate survey tools for Multi-site submission.
March 31, 2015 last date to submit PCMH 2011 survey tools.
- March 24, 2014 first day to purchase survey tools
Submit either version between March 24, 2014 and March 31, 2015.
Experts advise that if you are currently considering achieving PCMH recognition under the 2011 standards, you must act quickly before the standards expire. As noted above, all survey tools for PCMH 2011 must be purchased by June 30, 2014 and all documentation must be submitted by March 31, 2015. Multi-site corporate survey tools should be submitted no later than December 31, 2014, according to expert recommendations.
NCQA defines the Patient-Centered Medical Home as a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.” Experts believe, and recent studies have shown, that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ experience of care.
MediTouch® is designed – and prevalidated – to help make PCMH recognition easier
MediTouch has been specifically designed to make it easier for practices to achieve PCMH recognition, and we were pleased to announce recently that MediTouch EHR (4.0) has been Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Prevalidated by NCQA to receive 23.5 points in Autocredit toward NCQA’s PCMH 2011 scoring. This Autocredit is transferrable to MediTouch EHR PCMH client practices seeking NCQA’s PCMH 2011 Recognition.
HealthFusion is one of less than 10 EHRs to achieve Prevalidation; even fewer systems are also 2014 Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified. We are committed to complying with the new standards and when appropriate, will have our Autocredit transferred to the new 2014 certification by the 2015 deadline.
The Prevalidation received by HealthFusion means that primary care practices can receive Autocredit toward NCQA’s PCMH 2011 scoring simply by actively using MediTouch’s PCMH Prevalidated modules. Autocredit reduces the amount of documentation needed for practices to achieve Medical Home recognition.
Most PCMH primary care practices seek recognition from NCQA to demonstrate that they comply with the essential principles of Medical Home.
Want to know more?
For more information on the current PCMH standards and what recognition means to medical practices, register now for our upcoming free webinar, The Patient-Centered Medical Home: What You Need to Know.
Kathy McCoyKathy McCoy, MBA, is Director, Content Marketing, for HealthFusion. She has written on practice management and EHRs for more than 5 years and has more than 17 years of experience in continuing medical education.
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