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Comment By April 6 on Technical Specifications for ACO Measures

WASHINGTON, DC— The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) invites the public’s input on proposed technical specifications that support NCQA’s Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Accreditation. Because the ACO standards require organizations to monitor performance measure results, NCQA is developing the technical specifications to provide a standard and consistent approach to measurement.

The public comment period begins at 9 a.m. EDT on March 15 and ends at 5 p.m. EDT on April 6, 2012.

Technical specifications provide ACOs guidance on defining the population for ACO measurement, reporting measure results to NCQA, data collection and sampling methods for a core set of performance measures.

NCQA strives to balance the need to accommodate a range of organizational and contractual structures with the need to encourage standardization in ACO measurement that will support improved quality and comparable results over time. The Technical Specifications for ACO Measures are an extension of NCQA’s significant experience and record of accomplishment with establishing and maintaining provider quality measures. NCQA developed the Technical Specifications for ACO Measures by starting with existing HEDIS specifications (HEDIS Technical Specifications for Health Plans and HEDIS Physician Measurement) and adapting them to the ACO environment. 

“Public comment is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input on guidelines to monitor ACO performance,” said Mary Barton, NCQA Vice President of Performance Measurement. “We are eager for feedback and hope to hear from many interested parties.”

About ACO Accreditation
NCQA’s ACO Accreditation program, which was released in November 2011, is a roadmap for provider-led organizations to demonstrate their ability to reach the triple aim: reduce cost, improve quality and enhance the patient experience. To maximize accreditation’s usefulness for a variety of ACOs and ACO partners, the NCQA program:

  • Aligns with many aspects of the Medicare Shared Savings Program
  • Addresses expectations common among private purchasers
  • Uses three levels of accreditation to signify differing levels of ACO readiness and capability.

About NCQA
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information for consumers, purchasers, health care providers and researchers.