The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care is “an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth, and adults,” according to the “Joint Principles of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.”1 This approach makes CMAs (AAMA) the ideal allied health professionals to help facilitate the goals of the PCMH initiative for the following reasons:

  1. The CMA (AAMA) is the only medical assisting credential that requires graduation from a postsecondary medical assisting program accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This makes CMAs (AAMA) allied health professionals who are specifically educated to work in outpatient delivery settings, such as the PCMH environment.
  2. CMAs (AAMA) are the only allied health professionals who have passed a standardized examination of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
  3. Unlike some licensed health professionals, CMAs (AAMA) must recertify every five years, and cannot use the CMA (AAMA) credential unless it is current.
  4. An increasing number of malpractice insurance carriers are requiring medical assistants to be CMAs (AAMA).
  5. In a PCMH setting, the physician leads a team of professionals who “collectively take responsibility for the ongoing care of patients.”1 The “Core Curriculum for Medical Assistants,” published by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), requires students to “apply critical thinking skills in performing patient assessment and care.”2
  6. Another principle of the PCMH is “whole person orientation.” The “Core Curriculum” requires students to perform these responsibilities:
    • Apply active listening skills.
    • Demonstrate empathy in communicating with patients, family, and staff.
    • Demonstrate respect for diversity in approaching patients and families.2
  7. In the PCMH model “practices advocate for their patients to support the attainment of optimal, patient-centered outcomes.”1 Students are required to “recognize the role of patient advocacy in the practice of medical assisting, and advocate on behalf of patients.”2
  8. The electronic medical record is a key component of the PCMH model. The “Core Curriculum” requires students to “execute data management using…the electronic medical record (EMR).”2
  9. “Enhanced access to care is available through systems such as open scheduling” in a PCMH approach.1 A medical assisting student must learn to “manage appointment schedule, and schedule patient admissions and/or procedures.”2

As you can see, the CMA (AAMA) is uniquely qualified to help advance the goals of the PCMH model of care. Practices across the nation are benefitting from the CMA (AAMA) advantage.

Questions? Contact Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, at or 800/228-2262.