The concept for Athens Neighborhood Health Center began around the kitchen table of a Clarke County cook who later became a county commissioner. The women at the table knew that many in Athens did not seek medical attention simply because they were not comfortable in doing so. Together, the four women, along with the support of elected officials and their community, made Athens Neighborhood Health Center a reality in 1971. Their desire to provide quality, affordable health care in a comfortable environment remains the focus of Athens Neighborhood Health Center. Today the Center’s three facilities are the medical homes for thousands of Athens-Clarke County residents as well as those from surrounding counties.
In 2012, Athens Neighborhood Health Center (ANHC) became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by attaining the stringent requirements of the Bureau of Primary Health Care within the Health Resources and Services Administration. As an FQHC, Athens Neighborhood Health Center is much better positioned to grow and expand its services to the people of the greater Athens area throughout the upcoming decades. In 2018, ANHC earned the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition. See below for a full description of the Patient-Centered Medical Home and it’s importance to you and ANHC.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care that puts patients at the forefront of care. PCMHs build better relationships between people and their clinical care teams. Research shows that they improve quality, the patient experience, and staff satisfaction, while reducing health care costs.
NCQA’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition Program is the most widely adopted Patient-Centered Medical Home evaluation program in the country. More than 12,000 practices (with more than 60,000 clinicians) are recognized by NCQA. And more than 100 payers support NCQA recognition through financial incentives or coaching. If your practice earns recognition through NCQA, it means you have made a commitment to providing quality improvement within your practice and a patient-centered approach to care that results in patients that are happier and healthier. Athens Neighborhood Health Center earned the NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition in 2018.
Some background: The American Academy of Pediatrics introduced the medical home concept in 1967, and in 2007, leading primary care-oriented medical professional societies released the Joint Principles of the PCMH. The next year, NCQA released its PCMH Recognition program, the first evaluation program in the country based on the PCMH model. Today, NCQA’s PCMH Recognition program has evolved to feature a set of Six Concepts that make up a medical home. Underlying these concepts are criteria (activities for which a practice must demonstrate adequate performance to obtain NCQA PCMH Recognition) developed from evidence-based guidelines and best practices.
Through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), eligible Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – supported health centers may be granted medical malpractice liability protection with the Federal government acting as their primary insurer. To receive coverage, grantees must submit an initial deeming application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care and meet the requirements to attain deemed status. Renewal applications for redeeming must be submitted on an annual basis to continue coverage.
A deemed health center, its employees, and eligible contractors working within the approved scope of project are considered federal employees and are immune from lawsuits for medical malpractice. A patient who alleges acts of medical malpractice by a deemed health center cannot sue the health center or the provider(s) directly, but must file the claim against the United States Government. The Federal government assumes responsibility for costs related to a claim resulting from the performance of a medical, surgical, dental, or related function. There is no cost to a participating health center or its providers. These claims are reviewed and/or litigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Counsel and the Department of Justice according to FTCA requirements. Athens Neighborhood Health Center is a FTCA deemed health center.
Talmadge Guy, Ph.D.
Henry Young, Ph.D, President