Updates from the National Medical Home Summit

The Sixth National Medical Home Summit is being held in Philadelphia from March 17-19. The Summit is co-hosted by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC), and brings together the leading authorities and practitioners in the medical home field to discuss how it is working, where it has proven outcomes, what lessons have been learned, where it needs improvement, and what issues and challenges lie ahead. There are a few take-aways so far from the Summit: PCMH is a strategy for population health management being utilized by primary care practices, specialty practices, and health systems. The medical home model is about … Continue reading

Commonwealth Coordinated Care

Commonwealth Coordinated Care is a new initiative to coordinate care for individuals who are currently served by both Medicare and Medicaid and meet certain eligibility requirements.  It is an important component of the Virginia Medicaid innovation agenda, and it is one example of the national movement toward more integrated systems of care for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.  According to the DMAS website: The program is designed to be Virginia’s single program to coordinate delivery of primary, preventive, acute, behavioral, and long-term services and supports.  In this way, the individual receives high quality, person centered care that is focused on their needs and preferences. The goals of … Continue reading

Three Main Types of Quality Measures

When developing a quality strategy it is helpful to remember that there are three main types of quality measures that should be considered: process measures, outcome measures, and structure measures.  The following definitions are based on information provided by the AHRQ National Quality Measures Clearinghouse. Process Measures.  A process of care is a health care related activity performed for, or on behalf of, a patient.  Process measures are supported by evidence that the clinical process – that is, the focus of the measure – has led to improved outcomes.  An example of a process measure would be the percent of patients with … Continue reading

AHRQ Innovations on Community Initiatives to Enhance Access for Vulnerable Populations

The February 12 issue of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange (http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov) focuses on community-wide initiatives to enhance access for vulnerable populations. The featured Innovations describe three community-wide initiatives that seek to increase access to health care for vulnerable populations. The programs include A community collaborative that opened a free clinic for uninsured children and implemented targeted interventions for patients with sickle cell anemia and substance abuse issues (click here); A community-funded, nonprofit organization that matches eligible uninsured and underinsured patients with providers who agree to serve them at a discounted rate (click here); … Continue reading

VHCF Webinar Series on Psychiatric Disorders in Primary Care

This webinar series was developed by VHCF to provide continuing education for health care professionals who provide primary care to individuals with mental health conditions, and may not have mental health specialists available either onsite or in the community. Based on the priority needs identified in an April 2013 survey of Virginia’s safety net medical directors conducted by VHCF, two modules were developed: Pharmacotherapy for Psychiatric Disorders in Primary Care, and Diagnostic Considerations for Psychiatric Disorders in Primary Care. Each module is approximately 1.5-2 hours in length, and the cost to register is $25/webinar. In addition to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s … Continue reading

PCMH and Healthy People 2020

Within the Collaborative we have been discussing the impact of the PCMH model on direct patient care and on the broader health of the community.  Healthy People 2020 provides one lens for examining the connections between PCMH and community health improvement.  We have recently posted an article that provides an overview of Healthy People 2020 and draft framework for linking the PCMH model to Healthy People 2020 objectives.  We welcome your ideas for improving this framework.  Click here to read the article and view the framework.  

Process of Care Compliance is Associated with Fewer Diabetes Complicatons

Evidence-based research tells us that a quality health system must focus on positive health outcomes and process measures. However, few studies to date have examined the relationship between quality process measures and long-term reductions in disease complications. This recent article published in the American Journal of Managed Care finds that patients with diabetes who received proper and complete testing experienced fewer complications in the long term.  In fact, study authors stated that those who showed the fewest complications in the long term were those who were considered sickest at the start of the study. The study used a composite measure … Continue reading

From PCMH to Community-Centered Health Home

Research shows that the PCMH model has potential to improve access to quality healthcare.  An important next-level question is whether the PCMH model has potential to support community health improvement.  The ‘Community-Centered Health Home’ model is an interesting concept for bridging the gap between clinical services and community health promotion and prevention.  We have posted a brief overview of the Community-Centered Health Home model under PCMH Insights.

The Quality Challenge: Getting a Handle on PCMH Performance Metrics

As the PCMH model spreads it is also receiving more scrutiny from stakeholders who want to be assured of PCMH performance. As a result various national organizations are publishing recommendations for PCMH performance metrics. We recently posted an inventory of PCMH Performance Metrics as a page under the PCMH Insight menu item. Please check it out and let us know what you think.  

First Principles: PCMH for Patients with Chronic Illness

These days I am frequently asked whether the PCMH model “works.”  My usual response is that the PCMH model works well for patients with chronic illness because they are the folks who most need what the PCMH model offers.  The PCMH model can also work well for patients who are at high risk for chronic conditions, such as those who are pre-diabetic or pre-hypertensive.  Healthy patient populations with minimal risks do not necessarily need the full-blown PCMH model, but if they ever do need chronic illness care they will be glad they are enrolled in a PCMH practice. Community Health Solutions has advocated for the … Continue reading