The Institute for Family Health is the First Federally Qualified Health Center in New York State to Receive Recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home from National Committee for Quality Assurance Under New, Stricter Standards

New York, NY (November 9, 2015)Last week, the Institute for Family Health became the first federally qualified health center (FQHC) in New York State to receive Level 3 recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) under their new, more stringent 2014 standards. This recognition acknowledges the high quality of health care provided by the Institute at 12 full-time community health centers located in Manhattan, the Bronx and the Mid-Hudson Valley. This level of practice excellence benefits roughly 95,000 patients from four counties who receive medical, dental, and mental health services at Institute centers each year.

NCQA’s Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Program was developed to assess whether clinical practices are functioning as medical homes and recognize them for these efforts. PCMH standards emphasize access, team-based care, population health management, care management and care coordination, and the involvement of patients and families in quality improvement activities. The 2014 standards also focus on behavioral healthcare and the alignment of the centers’ efforts with the Institute for Health Improvement’s Triple Aim: improved quality, cost and experience of care. They also stress alignment with Health Information Technology Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements.

“Federally qualified health centers are critical safety net providers in our communities,” said James Tallon, President of the United Hospital Fund. “NCQA recognition under the 2014 standards requires that centers have sophisticated systems in place to take on greater responsibility, including to enhance access and continuity, build highly functional health care teams, manage the health of their entire patient population, develop care plans and manage care, track and coordinate care, and measure and improve performance. This enhanced responsibility provides an important foundation for alternative payment mechanisms that encourage and support system transformation.”

Neil Calman, MD, president and CEO of the Institute, said, “This recognition is a testament to the level of care provided to all of our patients, regardless of their ability to pay. It is also critically important to our organization’s future, as we move into a health care environment where reimbursement is based on patient outcomes, not numbers of visits.”

Nicole Nurse, RN, BSN, MBA, the Institute’s senior vice president for regulatory affairs and corporate compliance, praised the work of the staff that made this possible. “We have an exceptional group of providers, nurses and support staff that focus on providing the best care possible for our patients, from the review of data to the implementation of processes that improve care for the most vulnerable populations at each health center.”

In addition to its 12 full-time health centers recognized by NCQA, the Institute for Family Health operates seven part-time health centers that serve homeless individuals, two sites that offer specialty or mental health care, three school health programs, two free clinics and a variety of other programs. It also operates three family medicine residency programs, two in Manhattan and a third in Kingston, NY. More than 60 federal, state and private grants support the organization’s efforts to provide services to special populations, efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes, and many other initiatives.

The Institute’s NCQA-recognized health centers in the Bronx are: Urban Horizons Family Practice, 50-98 East 168th Street; Mt. Hope Family Practice, 130 West Tremont Avenue; Walton Family Health Center, 1894 Walton Avenue; and Stevenson Family Health Center, 731 White Plains Road. In Manhattan, the centers are: Sidney Hillman/Phillips Family Practice, 16 East 16th Street; Family Health Center of Harlem, 1824 Madison Avenue, and Amsterdam Center, 690 Amsterdam Avenue. In the Mid-Hudson Valley, the centers are: Family Health Center of Kingston, 1 Family Practice Drive; Family Health Center of New Paltz, 279 Main Street; Family Health Center of Ellenville, 6 Healthy Way; Family Health Center of Port Ewen, 213 Broadway; and Family Practice Center of Hyde Park, 11 Crum Elbow Road.