The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model both
reaffirms traditional primary care values such as
continuity of care, connection with an identified
personal clinician, provision of same day- and
after-hours access and also prepares providers to succeed
in the evolving healthcare system by focusing on
accountability, continuous quality improvement, public
reporting of quality data, data exchange, and patient
satisfaction. However, little is known about the
readiness of the over 4,000 Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
to meet the PCMH Recognition standards established by the
National Council for Quality Assurance (NCQA). This
policy brief reports findings from a survey of RHCs that
examined their capacity to meet the NCQA PCMH
requirements, and discusses the implications of the
findings for efforts to support RHC capacity development.
- Based on their performance on the “must pass”
elements and related key factors, Rural Health Clinics
(RHCs) are likely to have difficulties gaining National
Center for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Patient-Centered
Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition.
- RHCs perform best on standards related to recording
demographic information and managing clinical activities,
particularly for those using an electronic health record.
- RHCs perform less well on improving access to and
continuity of services, supporting patient
self-management skills and shared decision-making,
implementing continuous quality improvement systems, and
building practice teams.
- RHCs are likely to need substantial technical
assistance targeting clinical and operational performance
to gain NCQA PCMH Recognition.