The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has released standards to recognize specialty practices as “Patient-Centered Specialty Practices”. These standards complement NCQA’s standards for recognizing primary care practices as Patient-Centered Medical Homes and largely follow the same basic framework. The six standards that Patient-Centered Specialty Practices will have to meet are:
- Track and coordinate referrals
- Provide access and timely communication
- Identify and coordinate patient populations
- Plan and manage care
- Track and coordinate care
- Measure and improve performance
The standards also are aligned with both Stage 1 and Stage 2 requirements for the meaningful use of electronic health records to be eligible for incentive payments from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
NCQA has published a white paper describing the development of the Patient-Centered Specialty recognition program:
Sixty-four specialty practices have committed to apply for Patient-Centered Specialty Practice recognition, with the goal of completing their applications and becoming recognized by the end of 2013.
The full standards and guidelines are available for free with registration on the NCQA website.