News Column

National Certification: New Trend in Health-care Provider Services?

Jan 29, 2013

Shannon Muchmore

heal-care pros

Morton Comprehensive Health Services in Tulsa is the first federally qualified health center in the state to receive certification from the Joint Commission as a patient-centered medical home.

Morton was recognized for its ability to treat patients with teams of doctors who work together to ensure the patient is getting the best care possible.

Patient-centered medical homes treat all of a person's medical needs, Morton CEO John Silva said.

"We're not a factory line bringing patients in, doing the one thing and sending them home," he said.

"We're more of a concierge process."

The health-care industry is moving to quality-based reimbursement rather than volume-based, and patient-centered medical homes reflect that.

Advocates hope the approach will save money, he said.

Fewer than 20 percent of health-care organizations in the country have the certification that Morton recently received, but more and more are moving toward it, Silva said.

"It's coming whether the health-care environment wants to do it or not," he said.

Morton had to pass stringent requirements that help prove the organization is taking extra steps to ensure that patient care will be comprehensive, such as making patient information accessible to all providers treating a patient, said Michael Kulczycki, executive director of the ambulatory care accreditation program with the Joint Commission.

"We're looking for evidence that they had the patient's self-directed goals in mind," he said.

Studies show that patients who use patient-centered medical homes have seen better outcomes, and the commission hopes that many more organizations will seek accreditation.

Silva said Morton will be able to assess how the medical home model is affecting its outcomes in six to eight months.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)


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