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Mar 18, 2015


Compass Oncology worked closely with the Portland InterHospital Physicians
Association over two years on an innovative pilot project to gain national designation for specialty practices who integrate with Patient Centered Primary Care Medical Homes

(Portland, Ore.) – Compass Oncology’s six practice sites and 40 physicians have earned the Patient Centered Specialty Practice recognition from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA).  This recognition affirms specialty practices are partnering closely with primary care medical home practices in information connectivity, referral coordination, physician-to-physician communications, and improved quality and outcomes.

Compass Oncology is among the first health clinics locally to gain this new recognition designation for its six, multi-site practices in Portland and Tualatin, and Vancouver, Washington.

Paul Tseng, M.D., gynecologic oncologist and pelvic surgeon with Compass Oncology, helped lead the practice’s effort to work out the process and gain the recognition, “Compass pursued the patient centered specialty care NCQA recognition because we wanted to validate what we already do for our patients.” He added, “We have a culture of quality, and we want to continue that. We always look for ways to streamline our processes to help our patients, and we thought this recognition would help us do that. ”

“This is the natural evolution and next step after our many practices have become primary care medical homes,” said Dr. Susan Clack, chair of the Portland iPA. “Now these primary care clinics are seeking strong specialty partner practices who will complement their work.”

The Portland IPA launched the pilot project in 2013 with five specialty practices to demonstrate how this new model integrates specialists in the medical home philosophy. In this model, specialists can increase practice efficiency, integrate care via improved care coordination, create enhanced referral pathways, and work toward providing more efficient, quality medical care at the top of their practice. 

“This is an exciting culmination of the pilot we launched in 2013, and we’ve had very positive results, having helped each of the pilot specialty practices achieve NCQA recognition,” says Dr. Clack.  The five practices include Women’s Healthcare Associates Peterkort South (, Providence Heart Clinic at The Oregon Clinic Gateway (, The Liver Clinic at The Oregon Clinic Gastroenterology - East (, EyeHealth Northwest ( and Compass Oncology (

“Now, each are looking to expand their NCQA designation by pursuing multi-site designations,” said Portland IPA ( Executive Director Donna McClellan, R.N.  

According to the NCQA, earning NCQA Patient Centered Specialty Practice Recognition shows consumers, private payers and government agencies that the practice has undergone a rigorous review of its capabilities and is committed to sharing information and coordinating care. Recognition also signals to primary care practices that the specialty practice is ready to be an effective partner in caring for patients.

NCQA and the Portland IPA partnered with Compass Oncology on the Patient-Centered Specialty Practice Recognition project starting two years ago. The specialty component complements the Patient-Centered Medical Home primary care program the Portland IPA launched in 2010, also in partnership with NCQA. The Portland IPA was also the first organization to launch the NCQA’s medical home program in Oregon.

Asked to describe specific examples of how Compass Oncology has achieved this NCQA recognition, Dr. Tseng noted, “Compass chose to participate in the NCQA specialty recognition because we wanted to have the greatest impact for our compassionate and collaborative health care delivery.  We chose processes with quality measures that would actually improve a patient’s oncologic care.”

He adds, “For instance, interoffice communication.  We know that when patients have cancer, they have a multitude of doctors caring for them. We wanted to make sure that our treatment planning was communicated well to the entire team of physicians who care for our patients, thereby improving the quality of that patient’s life.  Second, and probably the most impactful one, was Advance Care Planning. This helps us have important conversations with patients, understanding what matters most to them so they are active participants in their cancer care. The third measure was standardizing processes.  Our specialty care involves multiple sites of care, and we wanted to make sure whenever a patient went to any one of our six Compass offices they would have the same welcoming and caring experience.”

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About Compass Oncology
Compass Oncology is the largest multi-specialty medical practice in the Pacific Northwest dedicated solely to providing state-of-the-art, comprehensive care for patients with cancer and diseases of the blood. The 40 Compass physicians are at the forefront of discovery in services including medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, pathology, breast surgery and palliative care. Our clinicians have subspecialty expertise in every type of cancer, including rare malignancies. For more information, visit

Compass Oncology is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of integrated, community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, Compass is united with nearly 1,000 physicians nationwide. Compass Oncology participates in clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in 53 FDA-approved cancer therapies, nearly one-third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. For more information, visit

About The Portland InterHospital Physicians Association
The Portland InterHospital Physicians Association (Portland IPA), is a for-profit corporation, incorporated in the State of Oregon. Portland IPA has been in existence since 1983, and is one of the largest and oldest independent practice associations in the United States. The Portland IPA contracts on behalf of more than 2,800 northern Oregon members, including primary care doctors, specialists and allied providers. The Portland IPA provides   member services and assistance that improves members’ clinical and economic performance.

The Portland IPA also hosts Care Connect Northwest, LLC is an organization of primary care and specialty physicians who focus on improving the delivery of care through collaboration and building common initiatives to improve the quality and efficiency of care.

Contact: Donna McClellan, R.N., Executive Director, (503) 731-7500
Vicky Grogg, Compass Oncology, (360) 597-1300
Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, (503) 201-7019