July 8, 2011
Tom Canty, VP and General Manager Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Empire is pleased to announce that a growing number of our participating physicians have had their medical practices accredited by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (“NCQA”) as a “Patient Centered Medical Home.” In a patient centered medical home, the medical practice is organized around the patient and affords improved access to comprehensive primary care services where care is personalized and coordinated.
Though individual practices may vary, the hallmarks of a patient centered medical home practice include the following:
Accessibility: You can communicate with your physician or care team by phone or email, and you can get an appointment quickly, even on the same day when needed.
Familiarity: Your physician gets to know you, your family, and your life situation, and records these details about you when you seek care. This enables your physician to suggest treatments that make sense for you.
Communication: Your physician and care team will give you time to ask questions, and answer them in a way you understand. They will make sure you know and understand all of your options for care and help you decide what care is best for you.
Support and Shared Decision Making: Your physician makes sure you leave the office with a clear idea of how to care for yourself and will help you set and meet health goals. You will receive information about classes, support groups, or other types of services to help you learn more about your condition and stay healthy. You will be treated as a partner in the management of your healthcare.
Coordinated Care: Your physician will help you find specialists, get appointments, and make sure specialists have all the information they need. Your patient centered medical home team will also be sure you know what the specialists say and what it means for you.
This unique approach to primary care is especially important for individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity which may require the coordination of medications, labs, diagnostic tests and specialist referral.
For additional information on patient centered medical homes or to find a physician whose practice has received NCQA accreditation as a patient centered medical home, please visit www.empireblue.com.