“One-Stop Shop” Eases Accreditation’s Logistical Load

April 19, 2022 · Andy Reynolds

A new way to store and track of information that organizations send NCQA when seeking Health Plan Accreditation or Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation lightens the logistical and administrative burden of earning Accreditation for NCQA customers and on-site surveyors.

As a web-based portal, the File Review System (FRS) replaces Microsoft Excel workbooks and lots of emails back and forth between surveyors and organizations applying for accreditation.

We plan to roll out FRS for other Accreditation and Certification programs in 2023 and later.

As a “one-stop shop” for organization records and files, FRS helps keeps standards for accreditation high, but lowers clerical hurdles for our customers and contractors who work as surveyors.

Compared to the manual process it replaces, the automated FRS is:

  • Timely. There is little to no lag between when we publish new standards and when organizations can work with those standards in FRS. Previously, it might take weeks or months for Excel-based file review systems to “catch up” with new standards.
  • User friendly. As a web portal, FRS keeps all communication with NCQA about file review in one place. That means customers no longer have to remember or track separate email conversations they might have had with different NCQA staff about separate aspects of file review.A self-assessment feature in FRS allows organizations to test their readiness for file review. That means organizations can know if they need to regroup before proceeding with real file review with an NCQA surveyor–a valuable time-saver.
  • Secure. With an encrypted environment for collecting, managing and reporting information, FRS supports the full gamut of file collection, generation, review and transmission of results.

We’ve had good feedback about FRS in a pilot test with 26 organizations over the past seven months.

If your organization is pursuing Health Plan Accreditation or Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation in 2022 or later, we will use FRS to assess your candidacy. We’ll assign an Accreditation Survey Coordinator as your guide and FRS helper.

A training and other resources will support the transition to FRS. These includes video tutorials, tip sheets, webinars and Q&A sessions.

The Bottom Line

  • Getting into a selective college should be challenging, but the logistics of applying shouldn’t be. The same is true of NCQA Accreditation.
  • FRS helps health plans and specialty pharmacies focus on quality and getting better, not the “paperwork” of applying for Accreditation.
  • Automating manual processes such as the Excel-based Accreditation file reviews is part of NCQA’s goal of being a great place to work with.
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