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Variety Care Solidifies Distinction as ‘Medical Home’ for All

(September 10, 2020 - Oklahoma City, OK) Variety Care, Inc. improved in 12 clinical quality measures, extending the nonprofit’s reach as Oklahoma’s largest Federally-Qualified Health Center. The distinction helped the organization receive awards in five categories as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).

The National Committee of Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) PCMH program is widely adopted at thousands of primary care practices around the country. The patient-centered medical home model of care approach places patients at the forefront of care. PCMHs have a goal of building better relationships between patients and health care providers, improving quality of care, and reducing costs.

“NCQA has recognized Variety Care as a PCMH since 2014 at Straka Terrace, one of our largest health centers in south Oklahoma City,” Dr. Sandra Gilliland, director of clinical quality, said. “This recognition demonstrates that our care teams work together to keep patients at the center of everything we do at Variety Care.”

Variety Care ranks among the top 30 percent of health centers for best overall clinical performance. Variety Care was recently awarded $283,000 to support quality improvement by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA has set a goal of PCMH recognition for all award grantees.

“Nearly all HRSA-funded health centers have demonstrated improvement in their clinical quality measures reflecting HRSA’s strong commitment to providing high value health care,” said HRSA Administrator Tom Engels. “Health centers serve approximately 1 in 11 people nationally. These awards will support health centers as they continue to be a primary medical home for communities around the country. Today, nearly 1,400 health centers operate nearly 13,000 service delivery sites nationwide.”

The Quality Improvement Awards promote quality of care at health centers around the nation and celebrate the achievements of the nation’s top health centers. Variety Care improved in 12 Uniform Data Systems quality of care indicator metrics including:
  • Dental sealants
  • Childhood immunizations
  • Child BMI counseling
  • Cervical cancer screenings
  • HIV linkage to care
  • Depression screening
  • Tobacco screening and cessation intervention
  • Adult BMI screening and follow-up plan
  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Hypertension control
  • Diabetes hemoglobin A1C control
  • Ischemic vascular disease

These improvements ultimately led to recognitions in five award categories: Improving Quality of Care, Access Enhancer, Health Disparities Reducer, Advancing Health Information Technology, and the PCMH Recognition. The awards help recognize the impact the Variety Care continues to have on the state of health in Oklahoma.

“These awards demonstrate the commitment Oklahoma Community Health Centers (CHC) have made to providing high-quality care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay or where they live,” Sara Barry, CEO of Oklahoma Primary Care Association, said. “This recognition is much deserved. CHCs are dedicated to leveraging data to help patients get healthy and stay healthy.”

Improving quality and the patient experience have been cornerstones of Variety Care’s comprehensive service model for the past eight decades.

“It takes teamwork and a commitment from all staff to achieve these awards,” Variety Care CEO Lou Carmichael said. “We look forward to building upon this tradition by facilitating better relationships between patients and health care providers. We will continue to work alongside our patients and community partners to improve the state of health in Oklahoma.”

Dr. Katherine Arnold, director of women’s health, said that Variety Care is helping women in Oklahoma access life-saving vaccines at no cost.

“Unfortunately, cervical cancer cases are 30 percent higher in Oklahoma than in the rest of the country, leading to Oklahomans being more likely to die of cancer,” Arnold said. “We are proud to say that at Variety Care, we are administering the HPV vaccine to people ages 9-26 and can provide it without charge to uninsured patients. Everyone at Variety Care plays a part in decreasing cervical cancer.”

Variety Care also provides care for 34,000 children annually through regular physical examinations, health education, observation, screening, immunizations, sick care, and more. Dr. Jason Graham, director of pediatric services, attributes recent increases in pediatric key indicator metrics to a devoted team of medical providers dedicated to helping parents raise happy, healthy babies.

“It takes multiple team members including receptionists, medical assistants, providers, data managers and others to be successful,” Dr. Graham said. “Sometimes it is easy to see quality as “just a number” or another button to click. Once you put quality in perspective and realize how beneficial it is for our patients, it makes the mission meaningful.”

Variety Care’s team-based care approach is evident across all key metrics. The family medicine department is making important strides in helping patients prevent and appropriately manage illnesses.

“Collaborating with our patients to cultivate long-term care plans is helping my team improve the quality of life for thousands,” Dr. Rhonda Sparks, director of family medicine, said. “Teamwork is an organizational core value that we consistently see put into action at Variety Care. Our commitment to working together to achieve better health outcomes for patients is evident in these quality metrics.”

Variety Care recently celebrated the opening of its 15th health center, Variety Care Yukon Pediatrics. All locations are now accepting patients. Please call (405) 632-6688 or visit varietycare.org for more information.

About Variety Care, Inc.
Variety Care, Inc. is Oklahoma’s largest CHC with 15 health care facilities in central and western Oklahoma. In 2019, we provided comprehensive and coordinated medical, dental, behavioral health, vision, and social services to 138,495 individuals through 318,740 encounters. A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients. The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.