What’s Your Technology Support for PCMH Documentation?

Are you unsure about the level of technology needed for some PCMH documentation requirements? You might want to take a look at this new table, which identifies the minimum technology to support each factor in the program. From elements that can be documented manually—using word processing documents and reports—to elements that need advanced interoperable capabilities, suggestions are outlined by factor.

The table makes it easy for practices to evaluate their capabilities and what they need to do, but does not insist that practices incorporate more advanced technology capabilities. Practices can pass all six Must-Pass elements with manual and basic technology (which includes a practice management system), and in fact, elements requiring more than basic information technology account for fewer than 20 points (of the possible 100 points).

Points are affected when practices implement more of the advanced technology levels. Intermediate information technology (patient portals, EHRs) or advanced capabilities can earn higher scores and facilitate document preparation for any level of recognition—and some are necessary to achieve Level 3.

Practices can also gain technological support by working with prevalidated vendors. NCQA gives its “stamp of approval” to vendors who consult the table and evaluate EHR systems, advanced registries and other technology solutions that align with PCMH standards. Some prevalidated vendors may already have approved practice support built into their systems or automatic credit that will exempt practices from providing documentation. Check the list of NCQA prevalidated vendors here. More vendors are gaining approval every month.

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