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PCMH Recognition Process: Becoming a PCMH

To become an NCQA-Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a primary care practice learns the NCQA PCMH concepts and begins the transformation process. The practice transforms over time, building on its successes. Along the way, NCQA conducts online check-ins to gauge the practice’s progress and discuss the next steps in the evaluation. 

A practice that meets criteria earns NCQA Recognition—the gold standard for evaluating an effective PCMH. Each year, the practice checks in with NCQA to show that its ongoing activities are consistent with the PCMH model of care. This means that the practice strengthens its transformation, and as a result, strengthens patient care. 

NCQA has the only national program that supports ongoing quality improvement in this way. 

1 Learn it

Download the NCQA standards and guidelines document and begin learning the concept areas and required criteria. NCQA also offers online and in-person training to help you better understand the recognition process.

2 Apply PCMH concepts to your practice

Begin to implement changes in your practice that align with the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) concepts.

3 Enroll through the Q-PASS System

When you are familiar with the concepts and have started to transform, create an account and enroll at Complete an initial questionnaire. You will also pay your enrollment fee at this time. Learn more about what will be required at enrollment.

1 Virtual introduction with an NCQA Representative

Once enrolled, NCQA assigns a representative as your single point-of-contact to guide you through the process. Your Representative will schedule an initial call to introduce themselves, discuss the process and develop a review schedule of up to three check ins over the course of your transformation work.

2 Begin working within Q-PASS System

You will use NCQA's new Quality Performance Assessment Support System—QPASS— to gather evidence, prepare documentation and track your practice's progress toward recognition. You can upload documentation (for criteria that require it) to prepare for your check-ins, or indicate that you prefer to demonstrate capabilities during a live virtual review, using screen-sharing (where applicable).

3 Virtual Reviews

You will have up to three virtual reviews via screen-sharing technology. Virtual reviews give practices immediate and personalized feedback on what is going well and what needs to improve. Learn what to expect during your virtual reviews.

1 Earn Recognition

Your practice and clinicians will be listed in the NCQA directory on the NCQA website and you can begin promoting your practice as a recognized PCMH.

2 Annual Check-In

Each year, your practice will check in with NCQA to demonstrate that your ongoing activities are consistent with the PCMH model of care. Annual Reporting has far fewer requirements than your initial recognition. It is meant to ensure that your practice continues to function as a PCMH and is performing ongoing quality improvement initiatives. Part of this process includes attesting to certain policies and procedures, as well as submitting some data to NCQA. The annual reporting process will sustain your recognition and foster continuous improvement. That means your practice succeeds in strengthening its transformation, and as a result, strengthens patient care.

Are You Interested in NCQA
PCMH Recognition?

Contact us today and an NCQA Representative will be in touch.

Current Customer?

If you are a current NCQA customer and have a question, contact us through the My NCQA portal.

Lead Sponsor

Learn about sponsorship

No support has been received for the development of the content or expenses and honoraria of faculty associated with this activity.


Medical Boards Awarding Maintenance of Certification Credit for Recognition

For information on medical boards that may be offering maintenance of certification credit for recognition, please visit our Recognition Program Resources page.