In September the Joint Commission announced that it will begin to accredit patient-centered medical home models for physicians by July 2011. A medical home model is a method to deliver care that is based on the ability to demonstrate evidence-based protocols, self-management education and care coordination with specialists and other facilities. The Joint Commission’s final standards will be available in March 2011 and on-site surveys will begin in July 2011.
The American Medical Association supports patient-centered medical homes, but stated to American Medical News that it will continue to work with the Joint Commission to ensure that proposed accreditation standards will focus on patient safety and access to physician care. Currently, some of these practices follow the standards published by a Washington D.C.-based organization, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). NCQA argues that more accreditation or recognition bodies will complicate the accrediting landscape and will cause confusion among providers.
For more information on patient centered medical homes or other health care reform concepts, please contact a Wachler & Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.