This blog was written by our guest bloggers Susan Maxsween, Director of RMS Healthcare – Practice Transformation, Karen Joncas, Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, and Al Tripodi, Healthcare Administrative Assistant.

RMS Healthcare salutes specialty care practices for adopting the recently launched medical home concept as “neighbors” of primary care practices in providing quality patient care.

On March 25, 2013, The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) released the standards for its Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) Recognition.  This specialty care program builds on the tremendous success of NCQA’s patient centered medical home recognition program and seeks to enhance patient centered quality care through integrated medical home neighborhoods, between and among all of a patient’s providers. Eligibility includes any specialist that receives referrals from primary care providers and/or other non-primary care specialists that can demonstrate adherence to the required standard of care.

PCMH Specialty Care

The PCSP program will recognize specialty practices that:

  • Establish agreements with their primary care and other specialty care practices, which facilitate sharing information and planning and coordinating care.
  • Provide timely communication and access to care.
  • Measure performance to identify opportunities to improve clinical quality, efficiency and patient experience.
  • Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to reduce any disparities in care.
  • Use a team based approach within the practice and among primary care colleagues to provide comprehensive care.
  • Collaborate with referring clinicians and the patient/family to plan and manage care and provide self-management support.
  • Systematically track tests and referrals and coordinate care with referring clinicians.

The potential benefits to PCSP-recognized practices include: increased quality referrals, coordinated care leading to more time focusing on your specialty, improved patient safety due to improved information from primary care colleagues, better medication management, and less duplication of services, and positioning the practice for newly proposed physician delivery and reimbursement models, which focus on reduced duplication of services and quality outcomes.

As we reported in a prior blog post, NCQA offered specialty care practices an incentive to be early adopters of the standards if they registered prior to the program launch.   As a result, more than 60 practices/groups of various specialties across the nation registered and agreed to complete key parts of the program by Dec. 31, 2013, in exchange for pricing discounts and publicity support.  For a complete list of the program’s early adopters, click here.

A free PDF of Standards and Guidelines for this program can be ordered from NCQA.  For more information on the program and to order the standards, click here.

RMS Healthcare has assisted more than 75 primary care practices in becoming recognized through the NCQA PCMH programs and can assist your practice in assessing readiness to adopt these or the specialty care standards.  We offer a full array or healthcare transformation services through and including the  administration of the NCQA survey tool. For more information on how we can help, please call Susan Maxsween at (315) 635-9802 or e-mail her at