First Federally Qualified Health Centers Earn National Recognition for Patient-Centered Care for NCQA's New Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C.― Fourteen federally qualified health centers are the first federal sites to earn National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Recognition under the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) Patient-Centered Medical/Health Home Initiative. By meeting NCQA requirements as patient-centered medical homes (PCMH), these centers have brought a proven model of high quality primary care to facilities serving some of America’s neediest residents.

Three Northwest Health Services sites in Missouri and 11 Hudson Headwaters Health Network sites in New York earned PCMH Recognition with the urging and support from the HRSA.

The HRSA Patient-Centered Medical/Health Home Patient-Centered Medical-Health Home initiative pays the costs of federally qualified health centers, community health centers and military treatment facilities to become NCQA medical homes. However, Hudson Headwaters Health Network also received support from the New York State Department of Health, as well as from the seven other private insurers in the region, through a state sponsored multi-payer medical home initiative.

“Medical homes are an innovation that can do a lot of good for people who give, receive and pay for health care. We commend our federal partners for bringing this model of high quality care to communities where it’s needed most,” said Kathleen C. Mudd, NCQA Vice President for Product Delivery.

“PCMH recognition reflects the extent to which health centers are addressing the important goals of improving quality, reducing cost, and increasing access,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.  While dimensions of the patient centered medical home are already embedded in the way many health centers do business, this process brings a comprehensive review to their work and helps to strengthen their quality improvement, risk management and other efforts important to the care of the populations they serve."  

 “Achieving NCQA Recognition is a huge step toward our goal to provide better primary care to our residents, and we are proud to work with NCQA and HRSA to do so,” said Hudson Headwaters Health Network’s Vice President of Medical Support, Cyndi Nassivera-Cordes. “Too often we hear how challenging it is for community health centers to provide high-quality care, but we’re changing that.”

"We applaud this accomplishment by Hudson Headwaters as they work in partnership with New York State, private payers, Medicare, and their patients to transform the delivery of primary care in this rural, high-need region of the state," said New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H.

About Patient-Centered Medical Homes
Patient-centered medical homes emphasize 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 improve patients’ and providers’ reported experiences of care.

More than 2,024 practices and 8,300 clinicians in the private sector have earned PCMH Recognition, making PCMH the most widely adopted medical home program in America and NCQA’s fastest growing service.

Federal facilities seeking PCMH Recognition must meet the same high standards as private sector medical homes. To comply with federal contracting rules, application and review procedures are different. 

About NCQA
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.

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