Three local Covenant Medical Group clinics were recently recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home program.

Fort Loudoun Primary Care, Internal Medical Associates and Lenoir Medical Clinic were among 24 clinics given the recognition.

NCQA emphasizes the use of patient-centered, coordinated care that supports access, patient involvement and communication. The program was developed to assess whether practices function as medical homes and recognize them for the efforts.

“To earn this recognition, the practices must meet specific criteria related to infrastructure, process improvement and compliance monitoring,” Stephanie Nichols, CMG director of clinical services and quality initiatives, said. “They also are required to focus on patient care planning, communication and safety. The practices will be evaluated each year to be sure they meet annual renewal requirements.”

The three clinics offer same-day appointments, after-hour care, complete care coordination, evidence-based care, a secure patient portal physician referrals for specialized care and access to online health information.

“NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition raises the bar in defining high-quality care by emphasizing access, health information technology and coordinated care focused on patients,” Margaret E. O’Kane, NCQA president, said in a news release. “Recognition shows that Covenant Medical Group has the tools, systems and resources to provide its patients with the right care, at the right time.”