The Joint Commission Accreditation in Ambulatory Health Care
An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including almost 300 Federally Qualified Health Centers. The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting established patient safety standards, including compliance with National Patient Safety Goals. Our compliance with the National Patient Safety Goals was most recently validated by the Joint Commission in 2016.
To earn and maintain The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval®, an organization undergoes an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. Lone Star Circle of Care first received Joint Commission accreditation in 2010 and has maintained accreditation since then. Compliance with Joint Commission standards is indicated by a quality checkmark on the Joint Commission’s quality report website. This quality checkmark helps patients and families evaluate health care organizations and providers. Learn more here.
The Joint Commission Accreditation in Behavioral Health Care
Based on the volume of encounters for behavioral health services, Lone Star Circle of Care became eligible for separate Joint Commission Accreditation in Behavioral Health Care in early 2016. Our first behavioral health survey was successful and Lone Star Circle of Care achieved this accreditation in 2016.
NCQA Recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. The NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of primary care that combines teamwork and information technology to improve care, enhance patients’ experience of care, and reduce costs.
Recognition through NCQA is the most widely adopted model for transforming primary care practices into medical homes. The Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC) clinic sites of Ben White Health Clinic, Hutto Pediatrics, Lake Aire Medical Clinic, and Texas A&M Health Science Center first achieved Recognition as an NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home in 2010 and have maintained recognition since then. Additional sites have been added as they become eligible, including Round Rock Health Center, Cedar Park Pediatrics, Harker Heights, and Killeen. There are 3 levels of recognition, ranging from Level 1 to Level 3, the highest. Lone Star Circle of Care Recognized sites are Recognized at Level 3.
Medical homes foster ongoing partnerships between patients and their personal clinicians, instead of approaching care as the sum of episodic office visits. Each patient’s care is overseen by clinician-led care teams that coordinate treatment across the health care system. Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve patient and provider reported experiences of care.
Meaningful Use is a Federal program through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that uses certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities. The program engages patients and their families, improves care coordination, and population health, and maintains the privacy and security of patient health information.
Meaningful Use sets specific objectives that professionals must achieve in order to qualify for incentive bonuses designed to support the costs of maintaining the EHR technology. Lone Star Circle of Care has successfully participated in Meaningful Use each year since its launch in 2011.