Becoming an NCQA-recognized level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) has paid off for St. Luke's Medical Group in Overland Park, Kan., says Michael Munger, a family physician and physician champion during the group's two-year transition. However, with 20/20 hindsight, Munger reflected on what the group might have done differently to make the process a little less onerous.
Take one step at a time. Pick one or two PCMH principles to work on and perfect those before moving forward. "Focus on getting your teams functioning at a high level, working collaboratively, or expanding access," he says. "If you have EHRs, work on your registry and chronic disease management."
Don't worry about recognition. Instill the principles of the PCMH into your practice before pursing official recognition, says Munger. "The recognition process will be much easier if you're reporting on what you're already doing, not redesigning your practice at the same time."
You don't always need a certificate. "Many large payers don't care so much about PCMH recognition," says Munger. "They want to know about outcomes and what you are actually doing. The important thing is that you're practicing in the medical home model."