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January 11, 2012

First Level 3 Medical Home Designation for Primary Care Practices at an Academic Medical Center Goes to Rush

(CHICAGO) — Seven primary care practices at Rush University Medical Center were the first at an academic medical center in Illinois to receive National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) level 3 recognition as a Physician Practice Connections - Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH). The PPC-PCMH program was developed to assess whether physician practices are functioning as “medical homes” and recognize them for these efforts.

The patient-centered medical home is intended to improve health and health care. The active, ongoing relationship between a patient and a physician in medical homes supports staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place. PPC – PCMH Recognition shows that Rush has tools, systems and resources to provide patients with the right care at the right time.

Rush University Medical Center supported the development of medical homes because it is consistent with its mission of providing the very best care for its patients. “We transformed our campus with an innovative new hospital building to improve the delivery of acute care, and at the same time we are transforming the way patients receive primary care,” said Rush CEO Dr. Larry Goodman.

The seven primary care practices are: Associates in Internal Medicine, Lifetime Medical Associates, Rush Pediatric Primary Care Center, Rush University Family Physicians, Rush University Physicians at Lincoln Park, Rush University Senior Care, and West Loop University Medicine. These physician practices serve more than 43,000 patients. All practices earned level 3 designation — the highest recognition awarded by NCQA.

“While the medical home concept has been around for 40 years, today’s complicated health care industry creates enormous obstacles for primary care physicians to proactively manage patients and coordinate care beyond the physical borders of their practices,” said Brent Estes, president and CEO of Rush Health and vice president of Rush University Medical Center. “The NCQA designation as a PPC-PCMH recognizes the delivery of high-quality care for patients and the more efficient use of resources.”

The launch of patient-centered medical homes at Rush was built upon initiatives developed by Rush Health, whose strong focus on health data analytics and clinical performance improvement brings together hospital and physician strengths to better manage and connect all providers.

“The use of technology to improve the coordination of care and transmission of clinical information is important to the development of new care models, such as the medical home,” said Estes. “For example, a web-based patient registry pulls data from a data warehouse and presents information in an easy-to-use format to show how patients use hospital and health care services, such as the emergency department, lab, imaging and physician offices. This information helps primary care practices maintain a long-term focuses on patient health improvement instead of episodic care,” he added.

The Rush primary care practices with NCQA PPC - PMCH designation have redesigned processes to establish connections to information, patients and other providers that enhance the quality of patient care. For example:

·         Physicians set goals for follow-up with patients using guidelines shared by colleagues in the practice.

·         Nurses proactively contact patients who need preventive care or encouragement to schedule office visits.

·         Administrators use registries to understand patient patterns, identify high-risk patients and decide how to distribute resources.

All seven primary care practices use electronic medical records to improve communication between providers and coordinate care across service lines and settings. Rush’s current initiatives to integrate disease management capabilities and health coaching into the medical home program will continue to strengthen its mission to improve community health.

To make an appointment with a primary care physician in one of these practices, or any physician at Rush, call (888) 352-RUSH (7874) or visit

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