The National Committee for Quality Assurance gives medical home recognition to practices with a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care and communication, 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.
“This accomplishment speaks to the ongoing care, energy, adaptability and hard work of our entire care team,” Dr. Maria Cannarozzi, medical director for UCF Health, said. “Earning Patient-Centered Medical Home status is based on ongoing evaluation and process by outside experts. So while our work is not done, we have accomplished a major goal for our practice.”
To earn recognition, which is valid for three years, UCF Health demonstrated the ability to meet the program’s key elements: increased patient access to services, including longer hours and shared appointments; team-based care that provides more coordinated services and greater quality; and a clinic’s ability to address and manage chronic conditions that plague populations of patients – such as hypertension and diabetes. To earn a PCMH designation, a practice must provide data that patients are statistically improving, in areas such as obesity, preventative testing, blood pressure and glucose levels. The federal government based the PCMH elements on best practices from the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Osteopathic Association.
In working toward this designation, UCF Health added an integrated behavioral health team that assists patients with things like weight loss plans, motivation to make lifestyle changes, and treatment of depression. The practice also expanded communication capabilities between the patient and provider by enhancing its secure online portal. Care plans were also introduced that spell out all the steps in a patient’s treatment and what the next steps are so patients leave with a clear understanding of their doctor’s directions and plans.
UCF Health offers primary and specialty care under one roof for patients age 16 and up. All physicians are faculty at UCF’s medical school, and care for patients using the collaborative, evidence-based practices they are teaching to tomorrow’s doctors. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.