Thursday, January 15, 2009
Five primary care offices in Caledonia and southern Essex county are the first in Vermont to receive recognition as Patient-Centered Medical Homes by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
Northern Counties Health Care health centers Caledonia Internal Medicine, Concord Health Center, Danville Health Center, and St. Johnsbury Family Health Center; and NVRH Corner Medical achieved medical home status by passing a rigorous, comprehensive review of nine standards outlined by NCQA. The standards include: access and communication, patient tracking and registry functions, care management, test and referral tracking, patient self-management support, and electronic prescribing.
"With the implementation of the medical home we are moving from a doctor based health care system to a patient based health care system," said Dr. Joyce Dobbertin, a family medicine physician from Corner Medical in Lyndon.
The benefits to patients who receive care in a medical home are many. Patients with chronic conditions learn to partner with the healthcare team to monitor and better control things like blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight.
Prevention and reducing the risk of disease is also a priority in a medical home. Healthcare providers follow medically accepted guidelines for cancer screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies, as well as work with patients to maintain a healthy weight through healthy eating and exercise.
"This recognition by NCQA is a tremendous accomplishment for this community and is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people,"said Dr. Sharon Fine, a family medicine physician at the Danville Health Center. "I hope this will motivate all of us to continue our endeavors. Nationally it is recognized that the medical home is the future for primary care. There are very few NCQA medical homes in the country and we are on the cutting edge of this transformation in health care!"
For more information about NCQA and the Patient-Centered Medical Home visit www.ncqa.org.