EBNHC included in statewide patient-centered program

December 7, 2010
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The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center will be one of 46 primary care medical practices across the Commonwealth that have been selected to participate in a new Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative designed to promote comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered care delivered by teams of primary care providers.

The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services made the announcement this week. EBNHC and the other practices chosen represent a broad range of settings – from large, urban community health centers to small, rural group practices – and serve a diverse mix of adult and pediatric patients.

The program will implement and evaluate the patient-centered medical home model as a means of achieving accessible, high quality primary care for all patients, including persons with disabilities. Through this program, the EBNHC will aim to attract and retain primary care clinicians into practice in Massachusetts by increasing resources available to practices and improving their quality of work life.  This initiative will also seek to demonstrate cost-effectiveness in order to justify and support the sustainability and spread of the model.

“Massachusetts is leading the nation in health care reform, and this initiative represents another step forward in our work to ensure that our residents have access to the highest quality care,” said Governor Deval Patrick.

In a patient-centered medical home, an EBNHC and other primary care providers coordinate all of a patient’s health needs, including management of chronic conditions, visits to specialists, hospital admissions, and reminding patients when they need check-ups and tests. The medical home model supports fundamental changes in primary care service delivery, as well as payment reforms, with the goal of improving health care quality.  The initiative seeks to implement the model in a diverse group of practices in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this transformation in improving patient care and reducing the burden of illness

“At the heart of our effort to ensure access to care is a commitment to strengthening primary care and reforming how we pay for that care,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby.  “This new initiative is one of the key building blocks in our strategic work to make all primary care practices in Massachusetts transformed into advanced patient-centered medical homes by 2015.”

The Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative (PCMHI) was designed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in consultation with a multi-payer, multi-stakeholder council of consumer, physician, nurse practitioner, hospital, insurer, state agency and other interested stakeholder representatives.  The Council is co-chaired by Secretary Bigby and Dr. John Fallon, Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth received applications from 84 primary care sites interested in participating in the Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative. The EBNHC and 45 other sites were invited to join the initiative and will be eligible to receive technical assistance to transform their practices over a three-year demonstration period. This will include individual, on-site coaching from a Medical Home Facilitator; assistance in establishing and maintaining patient registries; and extensive training through a Learning Collaborative.

In addition to receiving technical assistance, 32 of the sites will have the opportunity to test a model of enhanced patient-centered medical home payments to support medical home activities and services including care coordination, patient self-management support and clinical care management.

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