IHS - Indian Health Service

07/16/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/16/2019 13:19

American Indian Medical Home: Providing an Improved Patient Experience and Level of Care

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center sees over 140,000 American Indian and Alaska Native patients each year.

The Phoenix Indian Medical Center was accepted as an AIMH facility in December 2017. We are proud to be the first facility in the Phoenix Area accepted into the program. We went live on July 2018 in the pediatrics clinic and have now expanded to our Primary Care Medicine Clinic patients.

Every day in pediatrics and primary care, the business office/patient registration team works to identify patients who are eligible to sign up for the AIMH. Our outreach efforts include specific brochures on the AIMH for both clinics, outreach robocalls, and a mail campaign to over 3,000 patients. In addition, patient registration leadership is working across PIMC in other departments, like the urgent care clinic, emergency department, podiatry, Center for Specialized Care, same day surgery, and admissions to get patients into the program.

American Indian and Alaska Native patients who qualify for Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona's version of Medicaid, have a few options when applying for medical insurance. Enrollees may choose to receive their coverage through the AHCCCS American Indian Health Program (AIHP), or one of the other AHCCCS-contracted managed health plans.

Within the AIHP, American Indian and Alaska Native patients are enrolled into the American Indian Medical Home program. This program supports key elements of the Patient-Centered Medical Home like Primary Care Case Management, diabetes education, and care coordination for its AIHP enrolled members. The program is an initiative by AHCCCS to adequately reimburse the IHS and tribal facilities that provide medical home services. Enrolled members can voluntarily sign up for the AIMH program with any registered facility.

Our goal is to get as many patients to sign up for the AIMH program as quickly as possible. By June 2019, 3,590 patients were enrolled into the AIMH program. The funds that are collected through this program enables PIMC to expand medical home services to patients in many ways, like 24/7 phone access, and provide an improved patient experience and increased levels of care. We are proud to be part of a state program that rewards medical home services like nursing case management and care coordination, and values diabetes education. Many of these essential components of the PCMH are rarely fully reimbursed, yet are essential to the care of our American Indian and Alaska Native patients.

For more information on the initiative, visit the AIMH website .

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What You Can Expect In a Patient Centered Medical Home

Improving Patient Care

Camlesh Nirmul, MD, FAAP, Director of Ambulatory Services completed her undergraduate training at Stanford University and attended medical school at Harvard. In 2000, she started her career at PIMC as a staff pediatrician. In 2012, she became the Director of Ambulatory Services, overseeing several programs, clinics, and Centers for Excellence. Dr. Nirmul serves as the lead of the PIMC Medical Home strategic planning track and the PIMC PCMH program.