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National health quality group lauds VMG primary care providers

Nov. 1, 2012, 9:52 AM

Following a detailed review by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), all 75 Vanderbilt Medical Group adult primary care physicians and nurse practitioners have received Level 3 designation — the top designation — under the Physician Practice Connections Patient Centered Medical Home voluntary accreditation program.

The NCQA is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that seeks to improve health care quality by managing voluntary accreditation programs for physicians and health plans.

VMG’s 75 primary care providers are spread among 10 practice sites across Middle Tennessee.

“This is very welcomed news. I’m sure the entire clinical leadership team joins me in congratulating our primary care providers on this new distinction, and joins me as well in recognizing the hard work of colleagues who carried out the rigorous application process leading to this new accreditation,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., M.D., chief medical officer and assistant vice chancellor for Adult Health Affairs.

VMG provided NCQA with extensive data and information on adult primary care patient access, preventive care, disease management capabilities, use of evidence-based medicine guidelines and other aspects of care. About 360 patient charts were audited in the course of the application process.

“Given the increasing importance of delivering cost effective, quality care for outpatients with chronic disease, Level 3 medical home recognition is an important step toward VUMC defining itself as a leader in care coordination,” said Jim Jirjis, M.D., MBA, chief medical information officer for clinics and director of the Adult Primary Care Center.

NCQA assigned scores for 10 aspects of adult primary care practice.

“The evaluation has been very useful in helping us understand where opportunities for improvement may lie,” said Sharron Mullins, R.N., M.A., project manager with the VMG Innovation Integration Center.

Mullins, who led the yearlong application process, said the next step will be to apply for a newer, yet more stringent designation from the NCQA, called Patient Centered Medical Home 2011.

Mullins was assisted by Jeff Rosedale, health systems analyst III, and Pam Gunter, R.N., clinical systems specialist.

Administrative oversight for the application process was provided by Betty Akers, administrator of the Medicine Patient Care Center, Ann Cross, director of nursing for VMG-Williamson County, Pete Powell, M.D., medical director for VMG-Williamson County, and Jirjis.

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