PCMH Practice Recognition

Four main national organizations accredit or recognize practices as patient-centered medical homes (PCMH). The standards of all four organizations fully integrate PAs as primary care providers who can serve as a patient’s personal provider and practice to the full extent allowed by state law providing continuous, patient-centered care.

National Committee for Quality Assurance

NCQA is the big player among organizations that recognize patient-centered medical home practices. Where states or insurers require a specific program, often it is NCQA. Under the current standards, NCQA recognizes PA-managed practice sites and individual PAs who have their own panels of patients. The standards use the terms, “personal clinician” and “care team,” throughout. NCQA lists recognized clinicians and practice sites in its online directory. NCQA PCMH standards are available free of charge.

Joint Commission

The Joint Commission launched Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) Certification in July 2011. It is a subset of TJC’s Ambulatory Health Care accreditation standards. Their PCMH standards refer to “primary care clinicians.” The standards recognize PAs as primary care providers and as qualified to lead patient care teams. The Commission’s ambulatory care standards, which include the medical home requirements, can be purchased online.


URAC’s Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program guides organizations in how to become patient-centered health care homes and sustain the patient-centered approach over time. URAC defines a PCMH as a “quality driven, interdisciplinary clinician-led team approach to delivering and coordinating care that puts patients, family members, and personal caregivers at the center of all decisions concerning the patient’s health and wellness.” URAC standards are available free of charge.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care

AAAHC currently accredits organizations in ambulatory health care settings including ambulatory surgery centers, community health centers, medical and dental group practices, managed care organizations and medical home practices.  AAAHC offers two options for organizations to achieve recognition as a PCMH: Certification and Accreditation. The AAAHC medical home standards (available at no charge) state that patient-centered care is directed by a physician, PA or NP to the extent allowed by state law and regulation.

Last updated December 1, 2018