US Study Tour - Blog Post #3

It's a rainy day in Washington, and the only topic everyone is talking about is Donald Trump's election as US President. Changes are probably ahead for the health system - will this impact the momentum of primary care transformation, including the patient-centered medical home movement?

We visited the National Committee for Quality Assurance, a not-for-profit organisation committed to quality improvement in health care (see: http://www.ncqa.org/about-ncqa ). Their work includes accreditation and quality improvement programs for health care plans and providers, including patient-centered medical homes.

The accreditation of patient-centered medical homes is based on 6 standards, with 27 elements and 100 criteria; including patient-centered access, team-based care, population health management, care management and support, care coordination and transition, and performance management and quality improvement.

NCQA has published evidence on the benefits of patient-centered medical homes including both quality and cost at: http://www.ncqa.org/programs/recognition/practices/pcmh-evidence

Some key messages:

* Payment models need to account for costs.

* Accreditation is focused on the practice, not individual clinicians.

* Accreditation / recognition programs are complemented by quality improvement education programs.

* More work needs to be done to build patient outcome measures into the accreditation program.

* Transformation is not easy!

See the NCQA presentation on their work here.