Kentucky Regional Extension Center (Kentucky REC), based at the University of Kentucky, has announced six Kentucky health care organizations participating in Kentucky REC’s inaugural Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Cohort, have received national recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a well-respected, non-profit organization that has been a central figure in driving improvement throughout the healthcare system. PCMH designation by NCQA is an indicator that healthcare practices and clinics are providing high-quality, patient-centered care to their clients and in their communities.
UK HealthCare Family and Community Medicine – Lexington – Level 3
Georgetown Pediatrics – Georgetown – Level 3
Central Internal Medicine – Lexington – Level 3
Bluegrass Community and Family Practice – Bardstown – Level 3
Family Medicine Clinic of Danville – Danville, KY – Level 2
Primary Care Centers of Eastern Kentucky – Hazard – Level 2
The pioneer provider organizations, representing more than 75 primary care providers, joined Kentucky REC’s inaugural group of PCMH practices in early 2014 and have worked diligently to improve patient care in their practices and communities.
“This is a major accomplishment for these practices. These six practices worked with us over 15 months, dedicating the time and resources needed to transform their practices to this patient-centered care model,” said Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, executive director, Kentucky REC. “The hard work by everyone involved allowed the practices to achieve the highest levels of recognition and improve the quality of care for their patients.”
Kentucky REC provides coaching and assistance to support practices and clinics as they transform from a traditional sick care model to new models focused on comprehensive, coordinated care that keeps patients healthier and reduces complications. At the center of the PCMH model is a primary care physician office, where healthcare professionals work as a team to provide care that is individually determined to meet each patient’s specific need.
This approach fosters an environment in which patients develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with their primary care physician and a healthcare team focused on enhanced care coordination and office-based disease management planning. As such, the practice becomes the patient’s “home” for preventive, chronic, and ambulatory care.
The Kentucky REC PCMH Cohort focused on helping the practices demonstrate that they meet nationally recognized NCQA PCMH standards. Practices that achieved recognition worked with Kentucky REC to demonstrate the practice is able to:
· Provide access during and after business hours and communicate effectively with patients
· Use readily accessible, clinically useful information to assist in comprehensive care
· Collaborate with patients and families to pursue goals for achieving optimal health
· Improve effectiveness of care, safety, and efficiency by accessing timely information for tests and results, measuring and reporting performance, giving physicians regular feedback, and taking actions to improve, and maximizing use of electronic communications to facilitate coordination of care.
Care provided by primary care physicians in a PCMH is consistently associated with better outcomes, reduced mortality, fewer preventable hospital admissions for patients with chronic diseases, lower utilization, improved patient compliance with recommended care, and lower Medicare costs.
“UK congratulates these pioneer practices for becoming nationally recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes,” stated Trudi Matthews, managing director, Kentucky REC. “UK and its Kentucky Regional Extension Center are pleased to provide support for innovative approaches to improving care for Kentuckians.”
– Megan Housley is with Kentucky REC.