International Community Health Services Receives
Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition From National Group
International Community Health Services (ICHS) of Seattle has received national recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), joining a growing health care-industry movement that experts hope will save money and provide preventive, coordinated and quality care to people when and where they need it.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) of Washington, D.C. issued the recognition to ICHS based on an extensive review of the International District and Holly Park clinics. The PCMH model emphasizes team-led primary care, patient feedback and prevention. It differs from an uncoordinated health care approach, which can be more piecemeal.
“The PCMH approach makes sense. The No. 1 priority at ICHS is to work as a team with patients and offer the best care possible in an effective and efficient manner,” Teresita Batayola, chief executive of ICHS, said. “As a community health center, our goal has always been to provide comprehensive, affordable and culturally-competent care to anyone in need.”
ICHS is one of the few community health centers in Washington state to achieve NCQA PCMH status. ICHS, a federally-qualified health center, opened in 1973 to offer multilingual care, especially to elderly Asian Pacific Islanders.
Under the PCMH model, ICHS patients can receive care from medical, behavioral health and dental providers. A health care team also has medical and dental assistants, pharmacy staff, nurses, interpreters, eligibility experts and referral coordinators. Nutritionists and health educators are available for patient consultations.
The team members coordinate their efforts in pursuit of patient health and quality of life. For example, a patient might receive care from a medical doctor but also speak with a nutritionist or health educator to learn more about dealing with a specific condition.
ICHS has electronic medical and dental records, which are part of the PCMH model. Electronic records enable health care team members, including outside specialists, to receive patient information in a timely manner.
“The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of 21st century primary care that combines access, teamwork and technology to deliver quality care and improve health,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “NCQA’s PCMH 2011 recognition shows that ICHS has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time.”
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA issued the PCMH status to ICHS under its 2011 standards, which are more comprehensive.
Founded in 1973, ICHS is a non-profit community health center offering affordableprimary medical and dental care, acupuncture, laboratory, pharmacy, behavioral health and health education services. ICHS’ two Seattle-area clinics serve over 18,000 patients each year. As the only community health center in Washington primarily serving Asians and Pacific Islanders, ICHS provides care in over 50 languages and dialects annually. ICHS is committed to improving the health of medically-underserved communities by providing affordable and in-language health care. For more information, please visit: www.ichs.com.
Contact: Brad Wong
Release Date: May 7, 2012