Community in Action
Examples of programs, policies, and tools in action.

Students help Rural Clinics Become Patient Centered Medical Homes

May 14, 2015

In 2011, seven rural North Carolina counties had the chance to participate in the Multipayer Advanced Primary Care Demonstration Project (MAPCP), which pays clinics care management fees for chronically ill patients. Clinics had to be certified patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) through the National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA) to participate, but most did not have the resources to complete the recognition process. An innovative partnership between Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC)/AccessCare of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian State University connected each clinic with students that could support their efforts to attain PCMH status.

Through this partnership, health care management student interns helped clinics improve processes of care, attain PCMH status, and participate in the Blue Quality Physician Program (BQPP) – an initiative which financially rewards quality improvement. Every participating clinic achieved PCMH and BQPP status, and the collaborative won the 2014 Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust Innovations in Rural Health award.  To date, the program has helped over 20 rural practices attain PCMH recognition and renewal. And, it is expanding to reach eastern North Carolina with a partnership with East Carolina University.

To learn more about the how the Primary Care Quality Improvement Collaborative was established and the functions it serves, visit the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) summary of this project. To obtain collaborative curriculum and materials from CCNC/AccessCare of the Blue Ridge, contact Laura Himler at 828-265-9816 or [email protected].

Communities in Action provide examples of strategies or tools in action. Their purpose is to connect like-minded communities in their implementation efforts, giving insight into how others are tackling key challenges and what they've accomplished. To learn more about the evidence supporting this strategy's effectiveness or resources to help move towards implementation, see the What Works for Health summary of Medical homes.

Date added: May 14, 2015