News Release Date : 07/29/2009
St. Mary’s Affiliated Physician Practices Designated “Medical Homes”
Three St. Mary’s affiliated physician practices, St. Mary’s of Michigan-Heritage Family Physicians, St. Mary’s of Michigan-Women’s Health Center and Ibtihaj Rajoulh, MD, PC, recently received certification from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as Patient Centered Medical Homes. Achieving certification requires that offices demonstrate excellent quality measures, high levels of patient satisfaction including well established patient communication systems, and electronic infrastructure including e-prescribing and an electronic patient registry or electronic health record.
The concept of a “Medical Home” is a new one but it’s something that everyone will be familiar with in a few years. In a Medical Home practice, the family physician helps patients get specialty care when they need it and, through electronic records, keeps careful track of treatments and informs specialists of the patients’ progress. “It means providing the patient the best possible medical care all under one roof,” says Dr. Raghu Sarvepalli of Heritage Family Physicians. “I couldn’t be happier with being named one of the very first Patient Centered Medical Homes in Saginaw County.”
“This is a new program offered by Blue Cross to recognize and reward those offices that are leading the way and using technology to improve service and quality,” says Steve Walters, Executive Director of St. Mary’s Physician Hospital Organization. He added that the three offices certified by BCBSM were a step ahead of the curve with electronic infrastructure that is only recently finding widespread acceptance among physician practices.
The St. Mary’s of Michigan Physician Hospital Organization hopes to see most of its primary care offices certified within the next year as electronic capabilities and improved patient communication systems are implemented.