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The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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DHMH Press Releases :



May 14

Recognition Builds on Maryland's Innovative Efforts to Encourage High Quality, Coordinated Care

Baltimore, MD (April6, 2012) -Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown announced today that all 52 Maryland Multipayer Patient Centered Medical Home (MMPP) practices have achieved the prestigious Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition from the NCQA, the most prominent health accreditation and recognition organization in the nation. The Maryland Patient Centered Medical Home Program, first championed by Lt. Governor Brown during the 2010 legislative session, is designed to improve patient health and elevate the role of the primary care provider in our health system. NCQA recognition will allow Maryland PCMH practices to continue providing high quality, coordinated care and will provide access to additional funding and incentives.

To achieve NCQA recognition, practices must demonstrate the ability to successfully provide six elements of care, including: access during expanded office hours, use of data for population management, care management, support of a self care process, tracking of referrals and follow up, and implementation of continuous quality improvement. Maryland's 338 newly-recognized primary care clinicians are the majority of the 577 clinicians NCQA has recognized at 98 primary care practice sites under the new, more stringent, PCMH standards for 2011.

"National recognition of Maryland's Patient Centered Medical Home practices again positions the State as a leader in innovative efforts for improving health and wellbeing," said Lt. Governor Brown. "Maryland's PCMH program is helping to enhance the quality of health care and reduce costs by providing physicians with responsible incentives to spend more time with patients, coordinate care and promote prevention and wellness. NCQA recognition will allow these practices to continue moving forward with this advanced primary care model which has the potential to not only improve patient care and outcomes, but bend the curve of rising health care costs."

All large private health insurers and most Medicaid managed care organizations participate in the program by paying for the costs of adopting the PCMH model and sharing savings that result with practices in the program. The MMPP has garnered additional support from major Maryland employers and plan sponsors, including the federal government's employee health plan, the State employees' health plan, and the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP), the state high risk insurance pool. Most recently, the Johns Hopkins US Family Health Plan, which serves US military families in Maryland, agreed to participate in the program.

Maryland practices' achievements are due, in part, to the innovative leadership provided by the Maryland Health Care Commission and the Maryland Learning Collaborative (MLC), a clinician-led organization composed of primary care physician leaders from the University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, and leading practice transformation experts from across the country. The Maryland Community Health Resources Commission and major pharmaceutical companies have provided support to the MLC.

Practices participating in the program span the entire range of primary care delivery in Maryland, including large and small physician-owned practices, sole physician and nurse practitioner practices, health system-owned practices, and several community health centers. Legislation championed during the 2012 session of the General Assembly by Lt. Governor Brown will prioritize expansion of the PCMH program to primary care practices participating in Health Enterprise Zones, an innovative pilot program designed to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic groups and geographic areas. The MMPP will continue until 2014, at which time the General Assembly will determine if the program should be expanded to a statewide initiative.

As Chair of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council and the Co-Chair of the Governor's Health Reform Coordinating Council, Lt. Governor Brown leads the O'Malley-Brown Administration's health care reform efforts. During the 2012 session of the Maryland General Assembly, Lt. Governor Brown successfully led efforts to pass legislation advancing Maryland's Health Benefit Exchange and is championing efforts to reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic groups and geographic areas by creating an innovative Health Enterprise Zone pilot program. Under the leadership of Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to over 310,000 Marylanders and put the State in position to maximize the Affordable Care Act.

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