Health Equity Accreditation Plus Public Comment:
November 9, 2021–December 17, 2021

NCQA seeks public comment from a variety of stakeholders on the proposed standards for a new Accreditation program, Health Equity Accreditation Plus.

Reviewers are asked to submit comments in writing through portal by 11:59 p.m. (ET), Friday, December 17, 2021.

Sign in to Comment

Health Equity Accreditation Plus

For over a decade, NCQA’s Multicultural Health Care (MHC) Distinction gave organizations a roadmap to identify and address health care disparities for the populations they serve. Introduced in 2010, the Distinction focused on race, ethnicity and language as avenues for improving culturally and linguistically appropriate care and reducing health care disparities.

On September 30, 2021, NCQA published standards for Health Equity Accreditation, a new program that evolved and expanded the language and activities of MHC Distinction to better reflect the role of multicultural health care as an important step toward providing equitable care. NCQA now proposes a new Accreditation program, Health Equity Accreditation Plus, that builds on the activities of Health Equity Accreditation by guiding organizations in their work to establish the processes and cross-sector partnerships necessary to continuously identify and address the social risk factors of the community where they operate and the social needs of the individuals they serve.

This public comment period seeks to collect feedback on NCQA’s draft standards for Health Equity Accreditation Plus to guide NCQA’s ongoing development of this program.

NCQA encourages all types of stakeholders to participate in this public comment period. Health Equity Accreditation Plus program will be open to the same types of organizations that are eligible for its prerequisite, Health Equity Accreditation, and NCQA recognizes that many other types of stakeholders—from patients, to the community health workers, to CBOs, to state regulators and local government agencies—will be partners in or recipients of the important work that these organizations undertake.


The Overview of Proposed Standards for a New Accreditation Program: Health Equity Accreditation Plus provides background for proposed changes and topic-specific questions.

Appendix 1: Standards Proposed for Health Equity Accreditation Plus includes the measures proposed for inclusion and retirement, and the rationale.

About Public Comment

The public comment system is integrated with NCQA’s single-sign-on platform. If you have access to any system listed here, you can use the same credentials to log in and submit comments:

  • Interactive Data Submission System (IDSS).
  • Health Organization Questionnaire (HOQ).
  • Download Center.
  • Recognition Program Online Application.
  • Quality Compass (QC).
  • My NCQA.

Sign in to Comment

Note: If you use Forgot Password, this feature will change the password for all NCQA systems to which you have access. If you do not have access to any system listed, click Create an Account and complete the entire form. Retain the password for your records.

Submitting Comments

Submit all comments through the public comment portal. NCQA does not accept comments via mail, email or fax.

    1. Go to and enter your email address and password.
    2. Once logged in, scroll down and click Public Comments.
    3. Click Add Comment to open the comment box.
    4. Select Health Equity Accreditation Plus Proposed Standards from the drop-down box.
    5. Click to select one or more of the following Topics from the drop-down box:
      1. HE Plus 1: Program to Evaluate Social Risks and Address Social Needs.
      2. HE Plus 2: Collection and Analysis of Community and Individual Data.
      3. HE Plus 3: Cross-Sector Partnerships and Engagement.
      4. HE Plus 4: Data Management and Interoperability.
      5. HE Plus 5: Referrals, Outcomes and Impact.
    6. Click to select the Element (question) on which you would like to comment.
    7. Click to select your support option (Support, Do not support, Support with modifications).
    8. If you choose Do not support, include your rationale in the text box.
    9. If you choose Support with modifications, enter the suggested modification in the text box.
    10. Enter your comments in the Comments
      Note: There is a 2,500-character limit for each comment. We suggest developing comments in Word to check your character limit; use the “cut and paste” function to copy into the Comments box.
    11. Use the Submit button to submit more than one comment. Use the Close button to finish leaving comments; you can view all submitted comments in the Public Comments

All comments must be entered by December 17, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET

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