While updating the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce last week on Peninsula Community Health Services (PCHS), CEO Monica Adams announced a recognition that they have been striving to achieve. “It’s a big accomplishment for us and took us about three years to achieve it with a lot of folks putting a lot of effort into it and it really means that we truly provide high quality, efficient care for our community,” said Adams.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) that issued the award to PCHS for being a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) with recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.
The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs. “Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care,” said Adams.
“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “Recognition shows that PCHS has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.” To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, PCHS demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements, embodying characteristics of the medical home. NCQA standards aligned with the joint principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home established with the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
Additionally, Adams told the Chamber that while PCHS was created to assist those without health insurance, that today they can offer assistance to those with high deductible insurance and low income, “It’s our sliding fee discount which works if you have insurance depending on your income you can qualify for a discount. So say you have a $2,000 deductible you have to meet before your coverage kicks in. If you come in to see us and say your bill is $100, if you apply and qualify for the sliding fee 50% discount, that means you only pay $50 for that day but we apply $100 or the full charge to your deductible which helps you reach your deductible at half the cost when you come to see us. What we see is that people wait until something urgent happens because they have a high deductible and put off care they may need until they reach the deductible. It’s designed to help low income families,” explained Adams.
To learn more about the services of PCHS call 260-7300. “We believe that income and money should not be a barrier to health care.”