Quality organization updates Patient-Centered Medical Home guide

February 25, 2011

The healthcare quality organization that sets the health insurance industry-accepted criteria for practices being recognized as a patient-centered medical home released updated guidelines on January 31.

The healthcare quality organization that sets the health insurance industry-accepted criteria for practices being recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) released updated guidelines on January 31.

The new criteria from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) call on medical practices to be more patient-centered and reinforce federal meaningful use incentives for primary care practices to adopt health information technology.

Practices earn points for meeting PCMH criteria, with more points equating to a higher level of NCQA PCMH recognition. The new version of the recognition directs practices to organize care according to patients' preferences and needs. Standards emphasize access to care during and after office hours and managing care in collaboration with patients and families. Other changes include providing services in patients' preferred languages and helping patients with self-care.