Jefferson Practices Get Special Designation

Patient Centered Specialty PracticeCongratulations to the physicians and staff of Jefferson Medical Oncology Associates and Jefferson Pulmonary Medicine Associates – the faculty practices of the Department of Medical Oncology the Division of Pulmonary Medicine respectively – for successfully earning the designation as a “Patient Centered Specialty Practice” (PCSP) by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

The practices are among the first groups in Pennsylvania to earn the highest level of PCSP recognition. That designation recognizes practices that are responsive to patients and medical colleagues, cooperate and integrate with other health care groups, and dedicate themselves to continuous improvement.

“In securing the Patient Centered Specialty Practice Level III certification from the National Committee for Quality Assurance, Jefferson Medical Oncology Associates has taken a significant step in demonstrating our commitment to providing the highest level of patient-centered care to the oncology community in the tri-state area,” says oncologist Andrew Chapman, MD, director of Jefferson’s Division of Regional Cancer Care and co-director of the Jefferson Senior Adult Oncology Center.

“NCQA recognition as a PCSP is not only an honor, but it is an obligation for us to continually re-tool our practice to function at the at the highest level,” pulmonologist Mani S. Kavuru, MD, director of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine as well as of the Jefferson – Jane and Leonard Korman Lung Center. “Increasingly, specialty practices are being expected to function within a patient-centered and referring-centered paradigm, with the greatest emphasis on seamless communication, collaboration in transitions of care, and overall accountability for being proactive on behalf of the patient.”

In order to receive PCSP recognition a specialty practice must demonstrate the ability of physicians to coordinate care among various specialties, track patient care after a patient leaves the office, and ensure that follow up care is provided, among other measures.

The recognition aims to signal to primary care practices that Jefferson’s specialty practices will be effective partners in caring for patients they have in common.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition distinguishes practices that communicate, collaborate and integrate care in ways that patients want and that improve quality,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “I commend the team at Thomas Jefferson University for its achievement, and for its commitment to continuous improvement.”

Only about a year old, the PCSP recognition is modeled on and complements NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition program, the most widely adopted medical home model in the country. A medical home is a way of organizing primary care that uses teamwork and technology to improve quality, improve patients’ experience of care and reduce costs.

“As physicians working in a NCQA Recognized Patient Centered Medical Home, we realize the importance that a strong clinical relationship with other specialists will result in the best possible care for our patients,” says George Valko MD, The Gustave and Valla Amsterdam Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Vice Chair for Clinical Program and Quality at Thomas Jefferson University. “That the Department of Medical Oncology and Division of Pulmonary Medicine have both achieved NCQA recognition for their specialty care is a validation of their cutting edge medical care and collaboration and gives us confidence that our patients sent there will be given the best care.”

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