URAC Opens Second Stage of Its Patient Centered Health Care Home Program for Public Comment

Aug 31, 2010, 11:40 ET from URAC

Public Input Sought at http://www.urac.org/publiccomment/

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- URAC today announced a call for public comment on the second set of toolkits for its new Patient Centered Health Care Home (PCHCH) Program.  The program, comprised of an integrated series of three educational toolkits, will help health care practices follow a step-wise process in their journey to becoming a PCHCH.  Comment on the first toolkit, the Health Care Practice Assessment Toolkit, closed on August 12, 2010.

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This call for comment focuses on the second and third PCHCH Toolkits: the Patient Survey and Performance Measures Toolkits, and are available for review and comment at http://www.urac.org/publiccomment/.  The deadline for public comment is October 14, 2010.

"These toolkits further expand URAC's efforts to help practices and their sponsoring organizations evaluate and track their operational readiness and progress in their journey towards becoming a fully functional PCHCH," said Alan P. Spielman, President and CEO of URAC.  "These toolkits were developed in collaboration with an advisory group of over 60 experts across all stakeholders and strives to help guide health care practices in adopting a truly patient centered health care home."

The PCHCH Program's three toolkits are designed to complement each other, and can be used as stand-alone tools, or in any combination called for by practices and by sponsoring health care organizations such as health plans, insurers, health agencies or pilot programs.  The two toolkits now open for comment include:

  • Patient Survey Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to provide health care practices with patient, family and personal caregiver feedback on their effectiveness in providing a high level of patient centered care and customer satisfaction to be used in quality improvement activities, as well as for public reporting and marketing programs.  Over time this toolkit will expand to include surveys evaluating patient reported outcomes, practice care team satisfaction, and other areas of interest to the PCHCH.
  • Performance Measures Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to provide practices with a set of selectable measures which would generate data on care processes and clinical outcomes to facilitate continuous internal practice quality improvement, public reporting, and meeting incentive payment program requirements.

Both above toolkits are intended to complement the Health Care Practice Assessment Toolkit, and assist practices to understand how well they are functioning in terms of delivering truly patient centered care, and to provide actionable information practices can use to guide their internal quality improvement activities.

"In order to assess a patient's experience, one must see through their eyes and understand how an encounter affects them.  Asking the right questions in order to capture this level of detail allows you to set up the next critical step, process improvement," commented Teri Treiger, RN, MA, CCM, CPUR, President, Case Management Society of America.  "This public comment period presents an opportunity to critically appraise the proposed toolkits in order to offer a solid stepping-off point for health care practices modification, aimed at providing true patient centered care."

The final PCHCH program, including all three toolkits, is expected to be reviewed by the URAC Board of Directors in December 2010 and launched in 2011.

About URAC

URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization, is well-known as a leader in promoting health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. URAC offers a wide range of quality benchmarking programs and services that keep pace with the rapid changes in the health care system, and provide a symbol of excellence for organizations to validate their commitment to quality and accountability. Through its broad-based governance structure and an inclusive standards development process, URAC ensures that all stakeholders are represented in establishing meaningful quality measures for the entire health care industry. For more information, visit www.urac.org.