Guest Blogger Natalie Lawson, RN – Why Rally’s NCQA Certification Matters
April 4, 2016 · Natalie Lawson
Natalie Lawson, RN, is a clinical health specialist at Rally Health, Inc, a digital health company focused on driving consumer health engagement. Rally® makes it easy to manage your health and your health care. Their friendly, easy-to-use products can help you improve your diet and fitness, shop for health benefits, and find the best doctor at the right price for your needs. Read her blog and comment below.
We’re excited to announce that three key parts of Rally’s platform have just been certified by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In our Engage product, both our Health Survey and our Missions were certified. Our entire Connect product also received the nod. This is the second time our Health Survey has been recognized by NCQA, but the first time Missions or Connect were reviewed, and we passed with flying colors!
As a company, we’re very proud of our NCQA certifications, but we realize not everyone is familiar with the process. So consider this your NCQA primer!
First things first: What is NCQA, and why does certification matter?
Basically, NCQA is the gold standard for health and wellness-related products. It offers an assurance that a company’s claims have been vetted by an objective third party. Certification by NCQA requires a detailed, in-depth process to complete, but it is completely voluntary, so many companies choose not to pursue it. As the person who coordinated Rally’s NCQA submission, I can testify that it took us many hours of meetings and required input and insights from nearly every part of the company, from our product and customer teams to security, IT, and legal.
So why did Rally go through all the trouble of NCQA certification if it’s not mandatory? Glad you asked! Certification serves many purposes for our clients:
- It gives our clients and consumers confidence in the clinical validity of our products, based on NCQA’s judgment that we do in fact provide the services we claim to.
- Our clients receive automatic credit for all of the areas that we have certifications for. This can save clients considerable time and effort in during their own accreditation process.
- Whether you pass or fail your attempt at certification, the results (including your specific scores) are publicly reported by NCQA. Our voluntary participation demonstrates our faith in our product’s ability to stand up to the intense inspection of the committees of physicians and other experts who conduct reviews for NCQA.
Next up: Which features were certified?
Our Health Survey and Missions are part of our Engage tool, which helps people get healthier. They were reviewed under the standards for Wellness and Health Promotion products. According to NCQA, these types of products are designed to “help employers get their money’s worth when selecting wellness providers, by identifying vendors that are most likely to deliver on employers’ priorities, such as improving workforce health and reducing absenteeism.”
Connect, which allows users to search for doctors, hospitals, and other treatment centers, was reviewed as a Health Information Product, and had to meet very high standards. Not only did we have to demonstrate the presence and compliance of our key product features, but NCQA also probed how we rate the effectiveness of our products, and the security and confidentiality measures we have in place to protect our clients and consumers.
Overall, it is a point of pride for us that we’re willing to have our product reviewed by NCQA and that we successfully navigated their process to earn three certifications. As of February 2016, only 35 other companies have been certified or accredited by NCQA under the Wellness and Health Promotion products standards.
The market is flooded with companies claiming to provide a benefit to their consumers, but our NCQA certification marks us as one of the few whose claims have been verified and that also provides a direct benefit to our health plan clients, who can cite their relationship with us during their own accreditation process. Now that’s something to feel good about!