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What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home?

Many people fondly remember the ‘family doctor,’ the physician who cared for each generation of your family, and made house calls and follow up phone calls. The doctor became a part of your family and supported both your physical and emotional health.

While the idea of a ‘family doctor’ has changed over time, the concept of caring for the patient in all areas of their healthcare journey is alive and well with the providers at our MVHS Medical Group Primary Care offices.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has designated the MVHS medical offices as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, recognizing their use of evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term provider/patient relationships.

Patient Benefits

“We are thrilled to be one of the first primary care groups in the nation (1 of 1,038) to be recognized as a designated Patient Centered Medical Home,” said Brad Crysler, executive director of Physician Services at MVHS. “The medical home is a model of care that holds significant promise for better health care quality, improved involvement of patients in their own care and reduced avoidable costs over time. PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal physicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several periodic office visits.”

“The active, ongoing relationship between a patient and a physician supports a goal that can be all-too-rare in healthcare - staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place,” said Dr. James Frederick, a (retired) family practice physician at the Whitesboro and Boonville MVHS Medical Offices, who spearheaded the initiative.

Early evaluations of the medical home model have shown improvements in quality of care and increased access to more efficient and coordinated care. Setting up the practices to be more accessible to patients with pro-active follow up means healthier patients, who in the long run, have fewer hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Better management of the care of patients in the outpatient setting also improves patient health, increases satisfaction and lowers the costs of care.

“Everyone should have access to a medical home, where their physician serves as a trusted advisor supported by a coordinated team with whom they have a continuous relationship,” said Crysler. “The medical home promotes prevention, serves as the point of first-contact for care, coordinates care with other providers and community resources when necessary, integrates care across the health system, and provides care and health education in a culturally competent manner in the context of family and community.”

Recognition Requirements

To receive Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition, which is valid for three years, MVHS demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements and characteristics of the medical home. The standards are aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.

Our MVHS Medical Group Primary Care offices met key program components in the following areas:

  • Written standards for patient access and enhanced communication
  • Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
  • Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care
  • Adaptation to patient’s cultural and linguistic needs
  • Use of information technology for prescriptions and care management
  • Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
  • Systematic tracking of referrals and test results
  • Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance.