Hudson Headwaters Network gets top rating

"The redesign team made 70 recommendations, including 69 spending cuts and one increase," Rugge said. "The only spending increase is for patient-centered medical homes. Policy makers understand that serving Medicaid patients with the medical home model will reduce costs. It's a classic example of smart government - tighten the best where it makes sense, but also bet on winning strategies that will reduce costs throughout the system."

Hudson Headwaters achieved the Level 3 recognition from NCQA based upon a range of evidence-based standards for improving quality and reducing costs. NCQA's Medical Home Recognition Program defines a patient-centered medical home as a model of care that strengthens the relationship between the patient and their primary care physician, while reflecting a commitment to access, affordability and accountability. The standards emphasize dedication to continuous quality improvement.

"Our patients can expect even more changes in the days and months ahead, because improving quality is an ongoing process," said Cyndi Nassivera-Cordes, vice president for medical support and Hudson Headwaters' lead administrator for the Adirondack Medical Home Pilot. "We're looking at ways to increase access and we are considering programs to further reach out to patients."

Nassivera-Cordes noted that Hudson Headwaters' application to the NCQA was sponsored by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), the agency that provides oversight to Federally Qualified Health Centers like Hudson Headwaters.

"Hudson Headwaters is one of the first community health centers to receive HRSA's support in seeking Level 3 NCQA recognition," she said. "It reflects the agency's confidence in our ability to provide high-quality care to everyone in the communities we serve."

Each year, Hudson Headwaters provides care to 60,000 people, accounting for 250,000 patient visits at its 13 health centers that serve a 3,700 square mile area of Essex, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.

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