Wishard Health Centers First in the State to Receive National Recognition

Wishard sites become first community health centers to achieve national quality criteria

CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317-630-7808
Pager: 317-310-5972   
Email: todd.harper@wishard.edu

Indianapolis, October 2, 2012 -- Fourteen of Wishard Health Services’ health care sites and programs along with 105 Eskenazi Medical Group physicians and advanced practice providers have received national recognition as leaders in a new model of care that focuses on a patient-centered approach.

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Physician Practice Connections® (PPC) Patient-Centered Medical Home™ (PCMH) awarded Wishard and Eskenazi Medical Group with the distinction last month. This is a notable accomplishment as, in Indiana, there are only a total of 23 practices and 150 providers recognized under the PPC-PCMH criteria.

"The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition is both a validation and a challenge. It validates Wishard Health Services and Eskenazi Medical Group's long-standing history of providing comprehensive, culturally sensitive, community-based health care that addresses the many social determinants of health. It also challenges us to continue to build upon our quality improvement and innovative practice transformation work until every patient we serve can describe what it feels like to receive care in their medical home," said Dr. John Kunzer, medical director of primary care services, Wishard Health Services and interim president/CEO, Eskenazi Medical Group.

Recognized facilities are health care sites that have designed their care models to center around the patient. True partnerships between the patient, his/her physician and, when appropriate, the patient’s family are formed to not only provide the patient with the care he/she needs but to track that care over time. NCQA's belief that primary care is the foundation of the health care system is the basis for the recognition program.

"The patient-centered medical home promises to improve health and health care," said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. "The active, ongoing relationship between a patient and a physician in medical homes fosters an all-too-rare goal in care: staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place. PPC-PCMH recognition shows that these 14 Wishard health care sites and 105 Eskenazi Medical Group physicians and advanced practice providers have tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time."

The Wishard sites are the first community health centers in the state to receive this recognition. Wishard's recognized facilities include: Blackburn Health Center, Cottage Corner Health Center, Forest Manor Health Center, Grassy Creek Health Center, Wishard House Calls for Seniors, IU Center for Senior Health at Wishard, IU National Women’s Center of Excellence at Wishard, Linwood Health Center, Wishard Medicine Clinic, North Arlington Health Center, Pecar Health Center, Wishard Pediatrics Clinic, Wishard Teen Care Program, and Westside Health Center.

PPC-PCMH utilizes 10 standards to score health care sites applying for recognition. The PCMH standards emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, communication and patient involvement. Standards pertain to accessibility, clinical performance measurement, patient care tracking, etc.

Adopting this model of care is beneficial to both the patient and the health care organization. Early evidence depicted through academic literature and study results have shown that health care sites recognized by PPC-PCMH tend to have fewer patients who require hospitalization or emergency room visits and can see lower health care costs as an organization. The model of care lends itself to proactive instead of reactive care.

In 2009, Wishard Primary Care formed a multidisciplinary Medical Home Implementation Team. The team consisted of a champion physician from each health center along with representatives from several areas including Food and Nutrition Services, Midtown Community Mental Health Center, Patient Navigation, social work and Information Technology. The team used the NCQA’s PPC-PCMH criteria to conduct a gap analysis with current performance. Pilot projects were conducted and best practices were standardized across the system.

NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The Recognition Programs are built on evidence-based, nationally recognized clinical standards of care. For more information about Wishard’s NCQA recognition, please call Brigetta Ober, director of primary care quality and risk management for Eskenazi Medical Group, at 860-2729 or visit www.NCQA.org.