Speeding past the farm fields of central Illinois, you’ll find the exit for Litchfield. The 7,000-person town is home to Litchfield Family Practice, an innovative rural health system that just achieved a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Certification from the NCQA.  It scored an impressive 97.5 out of a possible 100 points. In this video, the team at Litchfield Family Practice describes how it is advancing population health in a rural community.   “Small step” approach leads to success It all started in 2009, when Litchfield Family Practice and the local hospital, Hospital Sister’s Health System (HSHS), explored the medical home concept. “We felt the PCMH model was similar to the way that we were already practicing medicine,” said Daniel Wujek, MD. Litchfield is home to seven busy practices under one roof. While they had worked as a team […]

While primary care physicians always put patients first, their focus is intensifying as the healthcare industry makes the seismic shift to value-based care. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is one of a number of organizations that support the recognition of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) through a formal program. It aims to improve primary care by using standards that describe clear and specific criteria, which help practices organize care around patients, work in teams and track progress over time. Most everyone agrees that these are laudable goals. But the certification process strikes fear in the hearts of many well-intentioned practices. According to those who have achieved NCQA’s highest certification (Level 3), it may be easier than you think. Two experts — Barbara Johnson, nursing director at Elmwood Health Center in New York, and Deb Donovan, operations director at Derry […]

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Human Interaction: Key Ingredient to EHRs Success

“I believe the key to this program’s success was simple human interaction.” This sentence near the end of a recent article in Group Practice Journal had a rather jarring effect on me. Tucked into a description of a program undertaken by Cornerstone Healthcare to drive fee-for-service revenue from value-based care, I realized these twelve words neatly sum up how to tap into the power of an EHR. In 2011, Cornerstone achieved patient-centered medical home (PCMH) status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).  But the North Carolina-based provider group pushed further to take advantage of the rich data it compiled to qualify for PCMH. They just needed to figure out how to tap into their EHR to proactively understand the care needs of its patient population. Cornerstone’s initial program focused on high-risk diabetes patients identified by three criteria. They […]