The Patient-Centered Health Home (PCHH) model, also known as the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model, is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care across the lifecycle. The PCHH model is offered in diverse health care settings across the nation, but are especially successful in Federally Qualified Health Centers that have a strong foundation of team-based, accessible, coordinated care, and offer a unique focus on quality and safety.
The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) has been using the concept of a medical home and team-based care since the 1960s. In 2007, the AAP teamed up with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to form the Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.
These groups expanded the medical home concept to include the operational charges of: accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective care.
The recognition process evaluates an organization’s development and implementation of the systems necessary for the provision of patient centered care. Recognition is only one step in the process of practice transformation. Practices should continually think about the health care delivered by their team in the context of a broad, long-term framework. With such focus on continuous quality improvement practices will be more adapt at responding to changes in the marketplace.
There are a number of PCHH recognition bodies nationally. While some practices are required to complete a PCHH recognition program for incentivized reimbursement or grant mandates, participation is voluntary. Even though it is not required, health centers are intentionally deciding to strive for recognition in an effort to achieve a higher level of patient care at lower cost and improved staff satisfaction.
In the fluctuating health care landscape, having PCHH recognition is valuable to health centers. It provides an objective assessment of the quality of care provided in an effort to attract patients, community and other supporters. It positions the health center to be competitive in an actively changing value based payment methodology where payment is increasingly tied to improved patient outcomes. Additionally, health centers are realizing that implementing PCHH standards facilitate a unique opportunity to offer better, more affordable care to the benefit of healthier people and communities.
Health Centers considering recognition should consider multiple factors. Acquiring PCHH recognition requires significant resources including application costs, data and documentation requirements, and staff resources required to complete and sustain practice changes. However, current research clearly points to positive returns on investment across clinical and operational indicators.
CPCA does not endorse one recognition body. However, we can help you explore the program that will best meet your unique circumstances. For detailed information, visit the webpages of the recognition bodies.