The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the 500 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that have been selected to participate in its Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, CMS’ implementation of patient-centered medical homes for community health centers. The 500 community health centers in 44 states will receive approximately $42 million over the next three years to improve the coordination and quality of care they deliver to approximately 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries and other patients. The demonstration begins November 1, 2011.
The selection of this many FQHCs to participate means that over the next three years of the demonstration, hundreds of FQHCs will become patient-centered medical homes, providing significant momentum to this movement towards the redesign and improvement of primary care throughout the U.S. It also means that the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s recognition program for patient-centered medical homes, which is being used by CMS in this demonstration (and recognition program fees paid for by the Health Services and Resources Administration) will increasingly become the national standard, although there are competing standards from organizations such as the Joint Commission, URAC, and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
CMS also has released an update Fact Sheet on the demonstration program.