Community Health Centers (CHCs) always focus on offering patient-centered care. And they also work to become each patient’s medical home – the place that a patient goes for a regular check-up or other medical, dental, and behavioral health concerns.
As CHCs continue to grow the patient experience, an organization called the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) sets standards, and also awards health care facilities with Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) recognition. The PCMH model aims to make the entire health care system higher quality and more affordable.
What does PCMH recognition for a CHC mean for providers? For one, it means that you have the opportunity to offer care with a clinical team approach, which allows you to focus on continuity of care. And with leadership’s support for the PCMH model, clinicians have the opportunity to work in an environment where clinical innovation and evidence based practice receives support from top levels. It also means that clinics have well designed access, communication, patient self-management support and systems for test tracking and referral tracking which makes it easier for you to provide high quality care and stay up to date regarding patients.
Several Colorado CHCs have dedicated time and resources to prepare for the extensive application and have already been recognized by NCQA for their PCMH model of care, and other CHCs’ recognition is in progress. Check out these Colorado CHCs that have received PCMH recognition so far:
- Clinica Family Health Services
- Denver Health’s Community Health Services
- High Plains Community Health Center
- Metro Community Provider Network
- Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association – CHC
- Sunrise Community Health
The most recent CHC to get PCMH recognition is Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association-CHC with one clinic location currently in Craig, CO, and a new site opening in Steamboat, CO soon. They have received Level 2 recognition and plan to have Level 3 recognition – the highest recognition offered – by next year. This is a big accomplishment in part because new, and tougher, standards were set for CHCs to get PCMH recognition in 2011.
If you’re interested in joining a team working to grow the PCMH model, check out the websites for the CHCs above, or visit the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) job board for job listings in Colorado.