NCQA Welcomes New Leader of Standards Committee

March 22, 2022 · Andy Reynolds

NCQA has welcomed Marketa Wills, MD, MBA as chair of its Standards Committee. Dr. Wills, a psychiatrist, is the Chief Medical Officer at Johns Hopkins HealthCare (JHHC), the health insurance and innovations solutions division of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The multi-stakeholder Standards Committee that Dr. Wills leads includes representatives from health plans, employers, consumer groups and public purchasers. The committee approves new NCQA Accreditation and Certification products, such as Health Plan Accreditation and Health Equity Accreditation. It also approves changes to existing products, including new scoring, standards and measures that count as part of NCQA evaluations.

For Dr. Wills, the chance to chair the Standards Committee is “an honor and a privilege,” and one she notes comes at an extraordinary time.

“An Especially Exciting Period”

“We have been talking for a long time as an industry about how measurement and quality should link to reimbursement,” she observes. “I see that happening more and more, and NCQA is an important part of that. I am thrilled to help advance the quality measurement conversation as the nation works to shift reimbursement from ‘paying for volume’ to ‘paying for value.’ This is an especially exciting period as NCQA is evolving its Multicultural Health Care Distinction Standards to the Health Equity Accreditation program, recognizing that quality care is equitable care for all.”

The planned launch of Health Equity Accreditation Plus in mid-2022 is a big step that Dr. Wills and the Standards Committee are leading. The Plus program builds on Health Equity Accreditation, which we launched in November 2021. The Plus option is for organizations that start with advanced health equity procedures and data collection efforts already in place. The Plus accreditation helps organizations expand existing health equity initiatives with next-level processes and through cross-sector partnerships.

“I get goosebumps”

“The work that NCQA champions advances our industry in a way that is unparalleled… I get goosebumps thinking about how important this work is for the health of the nation and for the health of all communities, including those that have faced systematic challenges and discrimination,” says Dr. Wills. “It’s exciting to be asked to step up at this time, and I’m so honored to have the opportunity to do that.”

A voting member of the Standards Committee since 2018, Dr. Wills has gained the admiration of NCQA staff and other committee members for her thoughtful, well-rounded insights. Before joining JHHC in 2020, she was the Senior Medical Director for WellCare Health Plans. She previously served as the Director of Physician Affairs at the Texas Medical Center campus of Memorial Hermann Hospital System and worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

In her role at JHHC, Dr. Wills is in charge of optimizing clinical and quality outcomes while managing costs of care for more than 400,000 members. She oversees pharmacy, utilization management, care management and quality improvement departments, as well as other areas of medical management and health services. In addition, Dr. Wills helps to set and enforce medical policies and standards for health care services provided to plan members and plays a role in JHHC’s growth strategy.

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