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Hudson Headwaters Network gets top rating

TICONDEROGA-A national organization dedicated to improving the quality of primary care has given Hudson Headwaters Health Network its highest rating. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recognized Hudson Headwaters as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home.

"Achieving NCQA's highest rating is the fruit of years of effort to transform how we provide health care," said John Rugge, M.D. and CEO of Hudson Headwaters. "It means that our patients receive affordable, high-quality care focused on their needs and coordinated for their benefit."

Rugge said that Hudson Headwaters' quality improvements reflect its role in the Adirondack Medical Home Pilot, an initiative that offers a patient-centered and preventive approach to the delivery of care.

"In the past two years, we have adopted e-prescribing, switched from paper to electronic medical records, and given our patients access to their medical information on their own computers," he said. "We have increased outreach to people with chronic diseases to help manage their conditions. Our Transition Care program helps people just released from the hospital to understand their medications and ensure that they receive appropriate follow-up care. We also focus on prevention, contacting patients who can benefit from screenings such as PAP tests, mammograms and colonoscopies."

Rugge said that the costs associated with additional services and outreach will be offset by the financial savings from fewer emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

"Patients who understand how to self manage their chronic diseases have the tools to stay healthier, as do people who understand the risks of poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles," he said. "Healthier people can often avoid higher-cost medical care settings, which is why the medical home model has emerged as an important strategy for improving quality and holding down costs."

Rugge cited the work of the New York State Medicaid Redesign Team, charged by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to find $2.6 billion in savings this year from the Medicaid Program, which provides health care for those living in poverty.

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