HCN News & Notes

HMC-affiliated Practices Earn ‘Pathway to PCMH PRIME’ Designation

HOLYOKE — Several patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices affiliated with Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) are the first in Western Mass. to receive the “Pathway to PCMH PRIME” designation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, in partnership with NCQA, developed the PCMH PRIME certification program. The program endorses practices that pass NCQA’s rigorous guidelines for patient-centered care and succeed in maintaining additional behavioral healthcare services for their populations.

The affiliated Western Mass Physician Associates practices include the locations at 2 Hospital Dr., Holyoke; 10 Hospital Dr., Suite 305, Holyoke; 262 New Ludlow Road, Chicopee; and Western Mass Pediatrics, 10 Hospital Dr., Suite 201, Holyoke.

“Integrating the expertise of two of our affiliate agencies, Western Mass Physician Associates and River Valley Counseling Center, allows us to better identify and treat individuals in need of behavioral-health services,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems Inc. “The incorporation of behavioral-health services is also exemplified in the plans for the new Emergency Department. We are committed as an organization to provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare that meets the needs of the Pioneer Valley.”

NCQA PCMH recognition requires practices to meet rigorous, evidence-based standards. Practices that go through the recognition process can earn PCMH PRIME certification if they meet at least seven out of 13 behavioral-health criteria, including:

• Co-locating or entering into formal agreements with behavioral healthcare providers;

• Integrating behavioral healthcare providers into the practice site;

• Performing comprehensive health assessments that include screening for behavioral-health conditions, including depression, post-partum depression, anxiety, developmental delays, and/or substance-use disorder;

• Having a system for identifying high-risk patients for targeted care management;

• Tracking and following up on referrals to specialists, including behavioral healthcare providers; and

• Providing medication-assisted treatment for patients with addiction.

PCMH PRIME certification is voluntary for practices in Massachusetts.