Case Study: Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), Jefferson County, CO
Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) is a federally qualified health center that operates three school-based health centers in Jefferson County, Colorado. MCPN has prioritized PCMH recognition because they believe it drives payment reform and they also anticipate that it will soon be a requirement of payers. MCPN elected to pursue AAAHC medical home accreditation because it aligned more closely with outpatient primary care. (Note: they are currently pursuing NCQA PCMH Stage 3 recognition as well because they feel it has become the gold standard for FQHCs.) “If SBHCs want to be equal in today’s healthcare market, they need to come to the table as equals and do the work of recognition,” said Lynn Bakken, PNP-BC, MCPN Associate Medical Director of Pediatric and Adolescent Services (personal communication, January 29, 2016).
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The Approach Taken
It took approximately 12 months to prepare for the AAAHC onsite survey. A team lead spearheaded the process with a consultant provided at no charge by the Colorado Community Health Network. They formed a committee with broad representation from across the organization and divvied up the work of preparation. Their IT department was involved as well because the process required running reports and extracting data.
MCPN’s biggest challenge was time because it involved a significant amount of work on the part of several people.
Ms. Bakken felt the AAAHC process was valuable to their SBHCs and other clinic sites. It provided an opportunity to discover ways to document many of the clinic processes that were already being done but not being captured. They revised several policies and procedures once they began scrutinizing them for patient education, team-based care, and patient engagement. The process also led to more standardization across providers and sites.
Case Study: True Health, Central Florida
True Health is a federally qualified health center operating seven clinics in central Florida, including two SBHCs at Maynard Evans High School and Cheney Elementary in Orlando.
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Reason for Pursuing AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation
According to Janelle Dunn, MHA, Chief Operations Officer, and Deana Montella, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing (personal communication, May 25, 2016), True Health chose to pursue AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation for three main reasons: (1) to increase the confidence level of their patients in the quality of the services delivered; (2) to distinguish True Health from other medical providers in the community; and (3) to be well-positioned for payment reform within the changing health care landscape. They considered Joint Commission Accreditation to be too hospital-oriented for their ambulatory care setting and thus AAAHC was selected.
The Approach Taken
True Health took a team approach to prepare for the onsite survey. They used AAAHC resources, such as their accreditation handbook and checklists. They also attended an AAAHC conference, which provided an excellent opportunity to network and learn from other practices who were already accredited. They shared clinical and administrative updates on progress at monthly management meetings. They received their first AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation in 2012 before either SBHC was in operation. Once the SBHCs were up and running, they submitted a letter to AAAHC requesting that the SBHCs be added to the accreditation. In 2015 they were reaccredited and AAAHC visited the SBHCs at that time.
The biggest challenge they faced was assuring that all of their policies and procedures were aligned with AAAHC standards.
Ms. Montella and Ms. Dunn shared that since undergoing the accreditation process; they feel more confident that they are clinically and operationally on par with other high quality health care organizations. The accreditation has enhanced their relationship with the schools they work with and solidified their reputation. They also say that the accreditation has strengthened grant applications.
Ms. Dunn and Ms. Montella had the following advice for SBHCs planning to pursue AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation:
- Stay calm as it can be a stress-provoking process.
- Attend an AAAHC conference to help prepare because the networking opportunity is invaluable.
- Reach out to the helpful AAAHC staff with questions throughout the process.
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TABLE 3: AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation Standards
The AAAHC Medical Home Accreditation Standards process is an add-on to the comprehensive ambulatory accreditation survey. AAACH considers it to be the highest achievement for primary care practices.
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TABLE 4: AAAHC Medical Home On-site Certification
The Medical Home On-site Certification process is a stand-alone process that does not require accreditation through AAAHC. Eight standards exist for the Medical Home On-site Certification process.
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