Neuromuscular Care Center Earns Highest Achievable Status

Monday, February 01, 2016

The Comprehensive Neuromuscular Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP). This recognition was achieved through a team effort lead by Brenda Wong, MD. The center is the first specialty practice at Cincinnati Children’s to receive NCQA PCSP recognition. Level 3 is the highest achievable status.

NCQA’s PCSP recognition program is designed to improve the quality of care while reducing the redundancies and negative patient experience associated with poorly coordinated care. Scott Callahan, MD, medical director for the Patient-Centered Medical Home Learning Collaborative at Cincinnati Children’s, says, “When patient-centered specialty practice and the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) initiatives are employed in tandem, there are multiple points of integration that clarify communication pathways, care responsibilities, reduce unnecessary or redundant procedures, encourage safe practices, and improve value to the patient and the healthcare system."

Care coordination is important for all patients, but especially for the ones Dr. Wong and her team see. They treat patients who have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a very progressive and multi-systemic disease that primarily affects males. Patients are treated with long-term steroids, which causes obesity, growth delays, bone fractures and an ongoing loss of function and complications. Most die in their early 20s.

Coordinated interdisciplinary healthcare provided by the center has attracted patients from 40 states in the US and international patients from five continents. NCQA standards for a PCSP will help us to continue to strive to provide quality care for patients with pediatric neuromuscular disorders.

To attain recognition, Dr. Wong, business manager Denise Van Over and their team partnered with Beth Papin and Diane Abel, practice improvement coaches for the Patient-Centered Medical Home Learning Collaborative. The journey to recognition took 18 months in all. Dr. Wong says, “Fortunately, we had a lot of things in place. But we couldn’t have achieved recognition without the coaches’ assistance.”

There are 935 NCQA-recognized Patient-Centered Specialty Practice clinicians across the United States. Few achieved the Level 3 status, and even fewer are pediatric-based.

“Ours is one of 10 certified Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy centers in the country,” says Dr. Wong, “We have accrued experience. We are a site for major clinical trials. And when you are talking about a disease that is primarily terminal, clinical trials allow us to give families hope.”


About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties, including a #1 ranking in pulmonology and #2 in cancer and in nephrology. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

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Jim Feuer