Center for Natural Medicine is Recognized as Patient-Centered Primary Care Home
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 25, 2013) — The Oregon Health Authority recently credentialed the Center for Natural Medicine, a naturopathic teaching clinic of the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), as a Tier 2 Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH). The Center for Natural Medicine is the first naturopathic clinic in America to be recognized with this credential.
The Center for Natural Medicine (CNM) is unique in North America as the only clinic offering naturopathic cardiology training and care in a clinical facility. Dr. Martin Milner, CNM medical director and longtime NCNM professor, supervises NCNM’s internship and residency programs in naturopathic primary care, cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine.
Oregon is pioneering the new PCPCH model to replace the Medicaid Oregon Health Plan, as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, which takes effect in 2014. Credentialing clinics like CNM as a Primary Care Home is part of the state’s drive to transform health care by creating a patient-centered delivery model that optimizes health and wellness, and decreases costs. The PCPCH healthcare delivery model is being carefully watched at the federal level as a potential model for other state plans.
Milner, a naturopathic physician and an NCNM graduate, said, “We’re delighted to be recognized by the Oregon Health Authority in this way. It means that CNM will be able to serve Oregonians in this health plan on an equal par with conventional medical PCPCH clinics. We anticipate that with this new designation, we’ll be better poised to coordinate CNM healthcare services with other medical specialists and care organizations.”
NCNM President David J. Schleich, PhD, said that CNM’s focus on medical excellence and quality of care extends to the clinical training it provides to NCNM students and residents. “We have been blessed to have CNM provide clinical training for our students. CNM’s new Oregon Health Authority designation is an honor for natural medicine—and will be an added bonus for our students.”
Schleich observed that Milner’s commitment to education extends to his patients. “One of the principles of naturopathic medicine is ‘Doctor as Teacher,’” Schleich said. “A primary care home will be expected to be an advocate for all aspects of the patient’s health.”
Milner agrees. “One of the ways doctors can help patients is by encouraging them to play an active role in their health,” he said. “Education is a powerful tool to help people along the continuum toward improved health. I work with my patients to understand their health so they can become part of their own healing process.”
Founded in Portland in 1956, NCNM is the oldest naturopathic medical school in North America and an educational leader in classical Chinese medicine and CAM research. NCNM offers accredited four-year graduate medical degree programs in naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine, and a Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research degree. Its community clinics provide low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area. In addition to the campus-based NCNM Clinic, NCNM practitioners attend to approximately 40,000 patient visits per year. Until July 2006, NCNM was known as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. The name change reflects the diversity of the college’s programmatic degree offerings.