Long-Term Services and Supports Distinction for Health Plans

NCQA’s Long-term Services and Supports Distinction was designed to support NCQA-Accredited health plans and MBHOs that coordinate long-term services and supports (LTSS).

The population is aging and more states are requiring integrated, person-centered, managed LTSS. It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to demonstrate their ability to effectively coordinate services between caregivers, individuals, LTSS providers and clinicians. LTSS Distinction can support your organization in achieving these goals

The fragmented nature of America’s health care delivery system can be especially challenging for people who need LTSS. Organizations that coordinate LTSS should implement best practices for person-centered care planning and effective care transitions, and for measuring quality improvement to support people living optimally in their preferred setting.

Program Requirements

NCQA’s standards provide a framework for organizations to deliver efficient, effective person-centered care that meets people’s needs, helps keep people in their preferred setting and aligns with state requirements.


The program offers distinctions to organizations that meet certain requirements in areas such as conducting comprehensive assessments, managing care transitions, performing person-centered assessments and planning and managing critical incidents.


Program Benefits

Earning NCQA Distinction can help organizations:

  • Become more efficient. A focus on coordinated care, training and measurement can help organizations reduce errors and duplicated services.
  • Integrate care better. Standards can help organizations improve communication between individuals, caregivers, providers, payers and other organizations that coordinate care.
  • Provide person-centered care. Standards focus on person-centered services, which can lead to better care planning and monitoring.
  • Support contracting needs. Standards align with the needs of states. NCQA-Accredited organizations demonstrate that they’re ready to be trusted partners in coordinating LTSS services.

Program Eligibility

  • NCQA-Accredited MCOs that offer comprehensive medical benefits and manage LTSS.
  • NCQA-Accredited MBHOs that coordinate LTSS.

LTSS-only health plans that don’t provide medical/behavioral health benefits are not eligible for this distinction but can earn Accreditation of Case Management for LTSS.


Become a trusted organization for coordinating long-term services and supports. Contact an NCQA representative to learn more about the program, or purchase the 2017 Health Plan Standards and Guidelines or 2017 MBHO Standards and Guidelines.

New Online Application Process

NCQA now accepts applications for its Accreditation and Certification programs online. Hardcopy applications are no longer available from the NCQA Download Center.


Learn more