Patient-Centered Specialty Practice certification demonstrates that The Liver Clinic provides effective, evidence-based care to patients with specialty care needs
The Liver Clinic, part of The Oregon Clinic’s Gastroenterology – East practice, was awarded the first Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP) certification of a liver program by the National Commission on Quality Assurance (NCQA). As a way of ensuring quality care, the NCQA accredits medical practices for meeting established guidelines and The Liver Clinic is one of only three Portland-area clinics to have successfully completed the rigorous requirements and received designation as a PCSP.
Ken Flora, MD, FACG, AGAF, director of Hepatology for The Liver Clinic at The Oregon Clinic, noted the process that his practice went through to earn specialty recognition. “NCQA recognition required that we rigorously review patient protocols in a meaningful way, paying particular attention to communication between ourselves, the patients, and the primary providers. We developed pathways defining levels of care among the different liver diseases, allowing us to determine who would do what, when, where, and for how long. We configured our clinic so we can interact with primary care providers in a manner that better satisfies their expectations and the needs of the patients. And we developed clinical algorithms to standardize the evaluation of patients with liver disease and better define at which point referrals to specialists would be appropriate.”
The Liver Clinic provides care for several thousand patients with liver disease ranging in severity from acute illness to cirrhosis and its related complications. The Liver Clinic offers the latest treatments for hepatitis B and C, liver failure and, in conjunction with the gastroenterologists, hepatobiliary surgeons, and radiation oncologists of The Oregon Clinic, liver and biliary cancer. With assistance grants awarded by Providence Health and Services, CareOregon, and the Portland InterHospital Physicians Association (Portland IPA), The Liver Clinic has developed its Patient-Centric Medical Neighbor program and is paying particular attention to the care and outcomes of patients as they transition from the hospital into outpatient care.
“We are proud of Dr. Flora and his team for receiving this prestigious recognition by NCQA. By improving clinical efficiency and focusing on communication and coordination with primary care physicians, The Liver Clinic is leading the way in quality care and better outcomes for patients,” stated Craig Fausel, MD, FAGS, surgeon with The Oregon Clinic – Gastroenterology East and chief executive officer for The Oregon Clinic.
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a well accepted primary care delivery vehicle and the NCQA has recognized nearly 27,000 clinicians at more than 5000 sites throughout the country. In March 2013, building on the success of its PCMH program, the NCQA established patient-centered specialty practice (PCSP) standards for specialty practices engaged in a patient-centered care model. The NCQA developed a pilot program in which it invited 60 clinics from around the United States to apply for designation. Only one other gastroenterology clinic was invited and The Oregon Clinic is honored to be the only liver clinic.
NCQA is a private non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, which accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and manages the evolution of HEDIS®, the performance measurement tool used by more than 90 percent of the nation’s health plans. Consumers can easily access organizations’ NCQA Accreditation, Certification and Recognition statuses and other information on health care quality on NCQA’s Website at www.ncqa.org/reportcards.aspx.