Is PCMH Right for You?

How can you tell whether PCMH recognition is right for you? And if it is right for you, how do you know which program to use? Consider:

The benefits. The benefits of engaging your SBHC in a formal PCMH recognition process are many. Though labor intensive, documenting your practice’s alignment with national standards can:

  • potentially qualify your SBHC for enhanced payments (depending on state policies);
  • demonstrate your SBHC’s commitment to providing high quality services;
  • provide your SBHC with credibility and visibility to health plans and payers;
  • standardize your SBHC’s clinical processes ;
  • facilitate continuous quality improvement (QI) in your SBHC; and
  • enhance staff education in your SBHC.

The challenges. Providers should be advised that pursuing formal PCMH recognition is a commitment of human and financial resources—and can be especially challenging for small teams. Time and money aside, some have reported other challenges in their pursuit of recognition. The most common of these are:

  • insufficient information technology support to extract data and generate reports;
  • PCMH standards in place but not easily documented;
  • inability to arrange 24-hour, 7-day a week access to care;
  • clinic orientation is predominantly acute care rather than comprehensive preventive care; and
  • recognition process does not address the unique confidentiality needs of students.
Deciding on a Recognition Program