The Department of Family and Community Medicine recently received word that its practice, Jefferson Family Medicine Associates, has achieved the highest recognition (Level 3) for Physician Practice Connections – Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) from the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The NCQA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare nationwide.
This NCQA recognition is widely accepted as an indicator that an organization is well-managed and delivers high quality patient care and service. Less than 50 practices nationwide have received this NCQA designation, with roughly only half of those achieving a rating equivalent to Jefferson's.
"This is a very significant accomplishment for our group that has required a lot of effort and dedication from staff," says Richard Wender, MD, Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. "We believe that Jefferson is one of the first practices to receive a Level 3 rating that has a residency and student program embedded within it. We’re also the largest single site practice in the nation to achieve this status for its Patient-Centered Medical Home model."
A Patient-Centered Medical Home model is designed to improve quality and lower medical costs by providing patients with a comprehensive, coordinated approach to primary care. For a practice to receive NCQA recognition it must facilitate care through registries, information technology, health information exchanges and other means to assure that patients receive care when and where they need it in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
As part of Family Medicine's ongoing mission to provide patient-centered primary care, the practice also participates in the Southeast Pennsylvania Chronic Disease Learning Collaborative, a program that adopts the Patient Centered Medical Home model as part of a wider initiative to improve healthcare for people with chronic diseases.
The Southeast Pennsylvania Chronic Disease Learning Collaborative was established by the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Management, Reimbursement and Cost Reduction Commission created by Governor Rendell in 2007. In 2005, about 60 percent of the adult U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population aged 18 and over had at least one chronic disease.
Jefferson is demonstrating that it is at the forefront of healthcare "transformation" by participating in programs like the Learning Collaborative and receiving an exceptional rating from the NCQA.
"What's significant here is that the Learning Collaborative recognizes the importance and value of receiving a Level 3 rating from the NCQA," notes Dr. Wender. "They use this rating to determine the level of financial assistance Jefferson will receive from the Collaborative to invest in practice improvements. With this funding we can achieve so much more for our patients."
With a huge commitment from Family and Community Medicine staff, its leaders George Valko, MD, and Tony Amoroso, and support from Mona Sarfaty, MD, Assistant Professor, School of Population Health, Jefferson Family Medicine Associates is becoming a Patient-Centered Medical Home model nationwide.