Kaiser Permanente scores a perfect 100 out of 100 for both Lahaina and Kihei clinics in their National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Physician Practice ConnectionsTM (PPC) Patient-Centered Medical HomeTM (PCMH) Recognition at Level 3, the highest level of recognition. The NCQA recognition program identifies clinics who deliver superior care using standards that show measured medical evidence of access and communication, patient tracking, test tracking, reporting, care management, patient self management, electronic prescribing and advance electronic communications among other things.
“The concept of PCMH is very familiar to Kaiser Permanente,” said Laura Lott, Kaiser Permanente spokesperson. “We’ve used the integrated care model for more than 50 years. The model encourages measurable quality and prevention by focusing on outcomes rather than volume. Research shows that integrated care is capable of improving clinical outcomes, expanding access to care outside of the usual office setting, improving patient and staff satisfaction and reducing health care costs. Our first clinic was certified in November 2010.”
The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a health care delivery model focused on improving the patient’s health and well-being by strengthening the physician-patient relationship and by placing the patient’s needs at the center of every care decision. The model is led by the personal primary care provider but also enlists the skills and knowledge of a team of health care professionals from nurses and nutritionists to specialists and pharmacists.
The delivery of care is facilitated by information technology, electronic health records and system best practices to assure that patients receive care when and where they need it, in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. It’s a model where patients don’t have to repeat their story to every new provider but still receive reminders when they need screenings and immunizations, and are known and cared for by a team of skilled medical professionals. One small note: the word “Home” in the title does not refer to actual home care, but here refers to a base of care for the patient; all care is still given at the clinic.
Lott says that quality care results in increased patient safety and improved patient outcomes. “If you can eliminate errors and keep people healthier it saves the entire system money,” she said. But there is no information as to whether plan rates will increase or drop in 2012.