Expert compiles report on behavioral health requirements for patient-centered medical home recognition

March 30, 2015

A report that details the behavioral health elements required in achieving recognition as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has been compiled by UMass Medical School’s Judith Steinberg, MD, MPH, for the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions (CIHS).

Advancing Behavioral Health Integration Within NCQA Recognized Patient-Centered Medical Homes aims to support safety-net providers across the country by outlining the newest NCQA PCMH standards as they relate to integrating behavioral health into primary care. The report provides:

  • A summary of all PCMH standards that include a behavioral health component.
  • A description of the full set of PCMH standards in relation to behavioral health integration.
  • An in-depth “how to” review on how behavioral health integration can be operationalized within each of the PCMH standards. 

Dr. Steinberg, deputy chief medical officer of UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine health care consulting division, is an expert in the patient-centered medical home model of care.

Commonwealth Medicine, under Steinberg’s leadership, was a partner to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services on the Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative. This three-year, multi-payer demonstration is now in the final analysis stage. Early results show 43 of 44 practices received NCQA PCMH recognition. Statistically significant improvement was shown in 11 of 22 clinical quality measures, including measures of chronic disease management, prevention, and care coordination.

Steinberg’s team at UMass Medical School is also working to support practices and health care organizations in implementing other Massachusetts health care reform initiatives, including MassHealth’s Primary Care Payment Reform and One Care, the integrated care program for people with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

Commonwealth Medicine works directly with primary care practices and health care institutions to educate them about new care delivery models, such as PCMH, and alternative payment models. Our PCMH experts explain the value of implementing these models for their patients and their organizations and assist organizations in implementing the models and in receiving official PCMH recognition.

Jointly funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and run by the National Council for Behavioral Health, CIHS provides training and technical assistance to community behavioral health organizations that received SAMHSA Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration grants, as well as to community health centers and other primary care and behavioral health organizations.

CIHS promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, whether seen in specialty behavioral health or primary care provider settings.

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