Health Care Center for the Homeless has received recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance(NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home 2011(PCMH 2011) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term relationships.
Dr. Chianta Lindsey, a Registered Nurse Practitioner at HCCH who played a crucial role in securing this achievement, refers to receiving NCQA recognition as “reaching the gold standard for providing patient care.”
“To accomplish this in a health center that primarily serves homeless people just proves our commitment to equality and providing amazing care to all people regardless of economic standing” Lindsey explains.
According to the NCQA, the patient-centered medical home is a model of care emphasizing care coordination and communication to transform primary care into what patients want it to be. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care.
The NCQA PCMH Recognition program identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, rather than treating patient care as the sum of episodic office visits.
HCCH already acts as a medical haven for the homeless and medically uninsured in the Orlando area, often cutting down on the number of individuals who unnecessarily use the Emergency Room for non-emergencies. The medical providers at HCCH establish an on-going relationship with their patients in an effort to provide consistent quality care to those who likely could not receive it elsewhere.
“The patient-centered medical home raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and partnerships between clinicians and patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “PCMH Recognition shows that Health Care Center for the Homeless has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”
In order to receive recognition, HCCH demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, including written standards for patient access and continuity of care, use of patient feedback materials, adaptation to patients’ cultural and linguistic needs and responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventative care for individual patients and for the entire patient population.
Bakari Burns, CEO of HCCH, says “Recognition as a PCMH by NCQA positions us well for the changing health care environment and communicates to our patients and the community that we are an accountable primary care provider that has the infrastructure in place to render quality, accessible health care services that will lead to better health outcomes for our patients and reduced health care cost.”