The following principles and guidelines apply to all contributions and sponsorship funds accepted by NCQA.
Acceptance of Funds
- Corporate funds are accepted by NCQA only for programs or activities that are consistent with NCQA’s mission and vision. NCQA will not have relationships with organizations or industries whose principles, policies or conduct obviously conflict with NCQA’s values.
- Corporate relationships with NCQA must preserve trust in NCQA and the credibility and objectivity of its information, priorities, programs and decisions.
- NCQA must maintain its objectivity and independence with respect to any activities that are developed, sponsored, or supported with corporate funds. NCQA does not permit influence by corporate sponsors beyond the usual input NCQA seeks from stakeholders.
- NCQA may accept funds from corporations to support the development, enhancement or implementation of NCQA programs.
- Corporate funding for NCQA program development activity includes the following conditions:
- NCQA seeks corporate funding for specific activities from multiple sources whenever possible.
- Acceptance of corporate funding for program development is with the understanding that NCQA must maintain its objectivity and commitment to a quality result. A sponsor’s preferences regarding program design, content or policies may not be reflected in the program.
- Under some circumstances and with NCQA’s approval corporate sponsors may attend as non-voting observers NCQA groups organized to gather stakeholder input and perspective on new programs being developed. All sponsors attending must comply with NCQA policies on disclosure and conflicts of interest.
- NCQA may consider the results of research studies, test results, or other information from corporate sponsors as well as other external experts that may help to inform NCQA staff on issues to be addressed in the program development process.
- NCQA may accept a corporate sponsor’s provision of in-kind expertise to assist with specific tasks such as market research, data analysis, or testing provided that all such in-kind expertise complies with NCQA policies on disclosure and conflicts of interest.
- Acceptance of corporate funds does not imply NCQA endorsement of a company’s products, services, programs, or activities.
- NCQA will not accept charitable contributions from any organization for which NCQA accredits, certifies, or recognizes the organization’s primary line of business, with the exception of limited contributions to NCQA’s annual Health Quality Awards event or other events such as the annual policy conference or other programs.
- NCQA may accept charitable contributions for its annual Health Quality Awards event or other events from an organization where a non-primary line of business has accredited, certified, or recognized status from NCQA. An organization whose primary line of business is accredited, certified, or recognized may contribute to these events in an amount not to exceed $75,000.
- NCQA will not accept funds from any pharmaceutical, medical device and/or biotechnology entity for the development of any performance measures including the field testing of measures.
- NCQA will recognize corporate sponsors in its annual report, Web site, and as appropriate to the sponsorship arrangement.
- NCQA must approve in advance the use of NCQA’s name, logo, and language when used by a sponsor in relationship to the sponsorship agreement.
- NCQA’s independence and control over all programs, projects, or products bearing the NCQA name, logo, or trademarks, and over the use of NCQA intellectual property, such as accreditation standards or HEDIS® measures must be maintained.
- Corporate sponsors may receive benefits from NCQA including complimentary education programs, publications and data products as well as briefings on NCQA products, programs and initiatives. Benefits for certain Corporate Membership levels will include participation on the Industry Council on Health Care Quality. The Industry Council provides a discussion forum among an expert pool of knowledge outside NCQA’s traditional stakeholders and customers. Industry Council members will abide by NCQA’s Conflict of Interest Policy and will be asked to sign a Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement annually. Members of the Industry Council may not advertise or market their membership on the Council. NCQA may specify levels of sponsorship in accordance with NCQA’s Corporate Sponsorship Benefits Overview attached hereto as Exhibit A.
- The cumulative amount of corporate sponsorship funds NCQA will accept from all organizations that are members of the NCQA’s Industry Council in a given year shall not exceed 5% of NCQA’s revenue in the prior year.