Other Programs

Multicultural Health Care Distinction

For two decades, NCQA has worked to improve health care for all Americans. Despite substantial improvement in quality, many people in linguistic, racial and ethnic minority groups continue to have poorer health and lower quality health care.

Cultural competency is a necessary component of a high quality health care system. NCQA’s Multicultural Health Care (MHC) offers distinction to organizations that engage in efforts to improve culturally and linguistically appropriate services and reduce health care disparities.

The Multicultural Health Care Distinction evaluates organizations, such as health plans, wellness, disease management and managed behavioral health organizations through use of an evidence-based set of requirements. These standards create a roadmap for improving and refining initiatives. Participating organizations will be equipped to fulfill state and federal mandates and, in conjunction with performance benchmarks, will be in a position to garner the NCQA seal of Distinction, an eminent and premiere symbol of quality in health care.

MHC Publications


Health Care Research

Serious Illness Care: Measures for Accountability
NCQA has undertaken a project to develop a suite of performance measures suitable for use in serious illness care accountability programs. Measures will evaluate the quality of care through the lens of patient goals. The project is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.  

HEDIS Measure: Unhealthy Alcohol Use Screening and Follow-Up
Unhealthy alcohol use is a common and serious issue, ranging from risky drinking to alcohol dependence. About 30% of the U.S. population misuses alcohol, and 21% of adults report engaging in risky or hazardous drinking. Alcohol misuse accounts for 1 out of 10 deaths in the United States.

National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement: Implementing and Improving (NCINQ)
Using national HEDIS measures, NCINQ will conduct a quality improvement project to encourage judicious use of antipsychotic medications and better depression management in youth.

Measuring What Matters Most to Older Adults
Many existing quality measures do not effectively measure what is most important to individuals, particularly older adults experiencing disability. We need a new approach to measurement that assesses how well organizations are helping people to achieve the outcomes they self-identify as important – we call these person-driven outcomes.

Goals to Care: How to Keep the Person in “Person-Centered”
The ability to understand what is most important to an individual is foundational to the provision of person-centered care. The ability for providers and care managers to communicate and coordinate care based on a shared understanding of the individual’s goals directly impacts the outcomes and experience of the person receiving care. Although commonsense, application of these principles is anything but commonplace.

Setting Goals with People with Complex Needs: A Collaborative Approach
People who have or who are at risk for complicated health conditions (e.g. those over the age of 65 and/or people with physical, intellectual or developmental disabilities) depend on person-centered care management to meet their needs, preferences and goals.

Policy Approaches to Advancing Person-Centered Outcome Measurement
Quality of care for people with complex needs begins with a person-centered assessment and care planning process that addresses what is most important to the individual. Better integration can improve care for people with complex needs, but failure to rigorously measure quality could result in cost savings at the expense of quality.  

Issue Brief | Quality of Child Health Care
Expanding the Scope and Flexibility of Measurement Approaches (May 2009) 

Measures for Dual-Eligibles
A March 2013 white paper, developed with support from The SCAN Foundation, describes a strategy for evaluating the quality and person-centeredness of integrated care.

CLAS: Health Care Disparities


The Reliability of Provider Profiling: A Tutorial

HEDIS and the Impact Act
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services commissioned NCQA to assess whether Medicare Advantage plans that enroll a disproportionate number of vulnerable beneficiaries are systematically disadvantaged by programs that use performance measures to assess quality.

Improving Chlamydia Screening 
Strategies from Top Performing Health Plans

Financial Conflicts of Interests Disclosure
This Policy addresses NCQA’s responsibility for ensuring objectivity in research in accordance with 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart F “Promoting Objectivity in Research,” and 45 CFR Part 94, “Responsible Prospective Contractors.” 

Multicultural Health Care Program
Through the Recognizing Innovation in Multicultural Health Care Award program, NCQA sought to provide a forum for shared learning to explore strategies to tie cultural awareness into existing quality improvement efforts.

Women's Health: Approaches to Improving Unintended Pregnancy Rates in the United States

Contraception and reproductive health are important aspects of women's health and of comprehensive, patient-centered care. This issue brief summarizes the consensus of key opinion leaders whom NCQA convened, with support from Bayer, for a 2014 meeting on evidence-based approaches to reduce barriers to utilization of the most effective birth control methods.

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Interactive Review Tool (IRT)

Learn more about the IRT Web-based Survey Platform.