The Joint Commission is developing a Primary Care Home designation that ambulatory health care providers will soon have the option of obtaining along with their ambulatory care accreditation. It is unknown how primary care homes, or "medical homes," may play a role in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), as the eagerly awaited ACO regulations have not yet been released. The trend towards the patient-centered medical home model, however, has continued to gain ground as a model of its own. The Joint Commission is the fourth accreditation body to develop medical home standards, following the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission, and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

The Joint Commission posted proposed standards and elements of performance (EPs) for the designation on its website, as well as a Primary Care Home Model that outlines the types of providers that may be eligible for the designation. The proposed EPs emphasize the development and coordination of interdisciplinary teams, and the communication, education and involvement of the patient in the patient's care.

The Joint Commission is currently seeking comments on the proposed standards for its new Primary Care Home (PCH) designation. Comments may be submitted through The Joint Commission's online survey and/or form, or via mail and must be received by March 14, 2011. Any questions should be directed to Joyce Marshall – Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation – at (630) 792-5934 or