The National Committee for Quality Assurance is seeking comment on a new program that applies the principles of patient-centered medical homes to specialty practices.
NCQA said it established the program in response to the success of its patient-centered medical-home recognition model.
"As this program has grown, NCQA has been approached by specialty practices that wish to be considered as patient-centered medical homes," the organization said in a news release
. "At the same time, we have learned that one of the barriers to effective care coordination is the breakdown of communication between specialists and primary-care providers."
The recognition program will build on NCQA's existing medical-homes standards, including coordinated care and timely access. It will also align with Stage 2 standards for the meaningful use
of electronic health-record systems, according to the release.
NCQA says specialists can begin applying for the recognition program in early 2013.
The public comment period runs from 9 a.m. ET June 11 through 5 p.m. ET July 6, after which "NCQA will review the findings with a multi-stakeholder advisory committee," the group said in the release, adding, "NCQA will also conduct pilot testing, which includes targeted interviews with interested specialty practices."