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Wheeling Health Right Recognized as Medical Home


            WASHINGTON—The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) today announced that Wheeling Health Right, Wheeling, WV has received Level 3 Recognition from the Physician Practice Connections—Patient-Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) program for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships.


            The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a promising model of health care delivery that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of care.  PPC-PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians, instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits.  Each patient’s care is tended to be clinician-led care teams, who provide for all the patient’s health care needs and coordinate treatments across the health care system.  Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanded hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.  Early evaluations of the PPC-PCMH have shown promising results in improving care quality and lowering costs by increasing access to more efficient, more coordinated care.  By avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits, these early results are producing savings for payers, purchasers and patients.


            “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 clinician 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 Wheeling Health Right has tools, systems, and resources to provide its patients with the right care at the right time.”


            To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, Wheeling Health Right demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements embodying characteristics of the medical home.  The standards are 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.


Wheeling Health Right met key program components in the following areas:


  •   Written standards for patient access and enhanced communications
  •   Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
  •   Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care
  •   Adaptation to patient’s cultural and linguistic needs
  •   Use of information technology for prescriptions and care management
  •   Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
  •   Systematic tracking of referrals and test results
  •   Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance


Wheeling Health Right, Inc. is one of only two free clinics in West Virginia to receive NCQA certification and the only free clinic to receive Level 3 recognition.


            Celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2010, NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality.  NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations.  It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance.  NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care.  NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.