The HPC Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Certification Program

The HPC certifies primary care patient-centered medical home (PCMH) practices that have demonstrated specific behavioral health integration capabilities through the HPC PCMH certification program.

Pursuant to G.L., c. 6D, §15, the HPC is required to develop and implement standards of certification for patient-centered medical homes.  The purpose of this certification process is to complement existing local and national care transformation and payment reform efforts, validate value-based care, and promote investments in efficient, coordinated, and high-quality primary care. HPC PCMH certification emphasizes the importance of behavioral health integration in primary care. Behavioral health conditions (mental illnesses and substance use disorders) suffer from both under and delayed diagnosis and treatment. This is a serious public health problem nationally and across the Commonwealth. Behavioral health issues can often be identified first in a primary care setting, and there is growing consensus that behavioral health needs to be well integrated into primary care.

As of 2019, the HPC has adopted the National Committee for Quality Assurance’s (NCQA) Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration as the standard for certifying Massachusetts primary care practices as patient centered medical homes. Any Massachusetts practice that achieves NCQA’s Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration may also be granted HPC PCMH Certification. After achieving Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration, practices that would like to be HPC PCMH-certified must notify the HPC by completing this short form.  

To learn more about NCQA’s Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration program, visit

If you have specific technical or programmatic questions about NCQA’s Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration, submit them to NCQA through For other inquiries about HPC PCMH Certification, you can contact the HPC at

HPC PCMH-Certified Practices

Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
Holyoke Medical Group – Chicopee Medical Center
Holyoke Medical Group – Family Medicine
Holyoke Medical Group – Holyoke Associates in Internal Medicine
Holyoke Medical Group – Pediatric Care
South Boston Community Health Center
Upham’s Corner Health Center
Whittier Street Health Center


The HPC, in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), launched the PCMH PRIME Certification Program in 2016.

PCMH PRIME identified components key to the integration of behavioral health care into primary care and certified practices that met a majority of these criteria. The program sought to provide benefits to practices and their patients by:

  • Supporting the use of evidence-based guidelines in treating patients;
  • Helping increase patient access to behavioral health care services;
  • Recognizing practices that deliver comprehensive care by addressing both physical and behavioral health in the practice setting;
  • Providing opportunities for practices to receive technical assistance from the HPC; and
  • Helping practices identify behavioral health issues, before they become acute, resulting in better outcomes and improved patient experience.

The PCMH PRIME certification standards were phased out in 2019 with the adoption of NCQA’s Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration as the new qualifying standards for HPC PCMH Certification.  Practices that were already on the Pathway to PCMH PRIME or were PCMH PRIME Certified prior to this transition will keep their current status until it expires.  Practices will then need to apply for and achieve Distinction in Behavioral Health Integration with NCQA to be HPC PCMH-certified. 

Additional details about the phase-out of the PCMH PRIME standards are provided in this FAQ document.

Related documents

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