Two NHCLV Community Health Centers Earn Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition

Designation will help Southside Bethlehem and Downtown Allentown sites better serve patients

Two local, federally qualified community health centers operated by the nonprofit Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley have earned national recognition that is designed to improve their relationship with, and thereby care of, local patients.

The community health center at Donegan Elementary School in Southside Bethlehem is now a National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Level III Recognized Practice. The Vida Nueva community health center located at Casa Guadalupe Center in downtown Allentown was upgraded from a NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Level II to a Level III Recognized Practice.

The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care that puts patients at the forefront of care by building better relationships between people and their clinical care teams. They improve quality, the patient experience, and staff satisfaction, while promoting value-based care and reducing health care costs, something which community health centers as a whole have been shown to do over their more than 50 year history. Practices that have earned recognition through NCQA have made a commitment to their patients’ care in an environment that understands quality improvement, as well as have embraced a patient-centered approach to care that results in patients that are happier and healthier.

Certified by the nonprofit NCQA, the program is the most widely adopted Patient-Centered Medical Home evaluation program in the country with more than 12,000 practices (with more than 60,000 clinicians) recognized by NCQA. The NCQA seal is a widely recognized symbol of quality. Organizations must pass a rigorous, comprehensive review and undergo regular recertification to determine compliance with NCQA standards. Each level (I, II or III) demonstrates the practice’s integration of the NCQA standards of the ideal PCMH model of care. The seal is a reliable indicator that an organization is committed to patient-centered care and maintaining high quality for the best value.

ABOUT NHCLV: Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley, based in Allentown, Pa. was officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 2004 by a group of concerned community residents. Their goal was to meet the need for a coordinated system of primary care for the uninsured and/or underinsured residents in the Lehigh Valley. After obtaining designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center-Look-Alike in September 2010, NHCLV submitted a New Access Point application in November 2010 and was awarded grant funding in 2012. NHCLV currently operates three primary care sites in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and is the first Federally Qualified Health Center in the Lehigh Valley.