Eight Ways to Reduce After Hours Call Volume in Medical Practice

We've handled millions of calls, and most of them aren't urgent. Here are our most helpful tips for minimizing non-urgent after-hours call volume.

The Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is widely recognized as a standard of quality in medical practices. Practices choosing to pursue PCMH recognition invest months of time, personnel resources, and capital to compile the materials necessary to undergo PCMH review. Once committed to the PCMH process, many practices find themselves hunting for every point possible, either to achieve base line PCMH Level 1 recognition, or to attain a higher level of PCMH certification through a re-review. Based on feedback we have received from our clients, On Call Central can help in the process of attaining PCMH recognition, and can do so in a very specific, measurable manner. This On Call Central white paper provides an overview of how On Call Central can assist your practice in securing points, all while saving you money.

PCMH Background

The current PCMH standard is PCMH 2011. NCQA has published a detailed Standards and Guidelines document, which we have made available for download here.

StandardsThe PCMH assessment is arranged into six standards, each of which addresses a specific aspect of patient care and practice management. The current standards within PCMH 2011 are:

■ Enhanced Access and Continuity
■ Identify and Manage Patient Populations
■ Plan and Manage Care
■ Provide Self-Care Support and Community Resources
■ Track and Coordinate Care
■ Measure and Improve Performance

"In addition to helping Family Practice Associates achieve their PCMH goals, they were able to save thousands of dollars per year by switching away from the local answering service.”
Sidney VanNess, Ph.D.
Founder | On Call Central

Each of the above standards contains multiple elements (28 elements total), and each element contains multiple factors (152 factors total). Of the 28 elements, six are designated as “must pass”—meaning that your practice must receive achieve a score of 50% or better on each of these elements. An NCQA summary of the PCMH standards, elements, and factors can be accessed here.

Cost of Review

NCQA assesses fees based in part on the number of clinicians in the practice, as well as the number of office locations. Discounts are available if the applicant is sponsored by a health plan, an employer, or through other programs that allow for discounts. Prices range from as little as $580 for solo practitioners, to several thousand dollars for large groups. The complete NCQA fee schedule can be downloaded here.