Examining differential performance of 3 medical home recognition programs

Ammarah Mahmud, Justin W. Timbie, Rosalie Malsberger, Claude M. Setodji, Amii Kress, Liisa Hiatt, Peter Mendel, Katherine L. Kahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We examined differences in patient outcomes associated with 3 patient-centered medical home (PCMH) recognition programs-National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Level 3, The Joint Commission (TJC), and Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC)-among Medicare beneficiaries receiving care at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). STUDY DESIGN: We used data from CMS' FQHC Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration, in which participating FQHCs received assistance to achieve NCQA Level 3 PCMH recognition. We assessed the impact of the 3 recognition programs on utilization, quality, and Medicare expenditures using a sample of 1108 demonstration and comparison FQHCs. METHODS: Using propensity-weighted difference-in-differences analyses, we compared changes in outcomes over 3 years for beneficiaries attributed to FQHCs that achieved each type of recognition relative to beneficiaries attributed to FQHCs that did not achieve recognition. RESULTS: Recognized FQHCs, compared with nonrecognized FQHCs, were associated with significant 3-year changes in FQHC visits, non-FQHC primary care visits, specialty visits, emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, a composite diabetes process measure, and Medicare expenditures. Changes varied in direction and strength by recognition type. In year 3, compared with nonrecognized sites, NCQA Level 3 sites were associated with greater increases in ambulatory visits and quality and greater reductions in hospitalizations and expenditures (P <.01), TJC sites were associated with significant reductions in ED visits and hospitalizations (P <.01), and AAAHC sites had changes in the opposite direction of what we anticipated. CONCLUSIONS: Heterogeneous changes in beneficiary utilization, quality, and expenditures by recognition type may be explained by differences in recognition criteria, evaluation processes, and documentation requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of managed care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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