BANGOR, Maine — Penobscot Community Health Care, which operates several clinics in Greater Bangor, is the first of the 18 Federally Qualified Health Centers in Maine to earn accreditation by the Joint Commission, a nationally recognized health care quality assurance organization. PCHC announced its accreditation this week.
“We [sought] accreditation for our organization because we want to be the best,” said Ken Schmidt, chief executive officer of PCHC. “We view Joint Commission accreditation as another step toward excellence and providing the best possible care to our patients.”
During an unannounced three-day visit in October to the PCHC clinics, inspectors surveyed patient records and checked for compliance with established medical care standards, medication management, laboratory services, personnel management, patient safety measures and other aspects of the operations.
Federally Qualified Health Centers provide health care in medically underserved areas, serving a high percentage of patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid. For patients without any coverage, the centers use a sliding fee scale to calculate affordable charges.
Nationwide, about 1,200 qualified centers and other outpatient clinics maintain joint commission accreditation.