Quality Telehealth is Now: Telehealth Distinction

November 18, 2020 · Jazmyne Carter

Recognition? Distinction? You’ve heard of it right?

We’re sure you know all about NCQA’s Recognition Programs for Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), released in 2008, and Patient-Centered Specialty Practice (PCSP), released in 2013.

But in case you don’t know, they were created to recognize primary care and specialty practices that focus on improved communication and coordination in the medical neighborhood. In addition to Recognition, NCQA offers special acknowledgment for practices that excel in specific areas through Distinctions like behavioral health integration.

Why are we telling you this? Because we have a newly proposed Distinction, for, you guessed it, telehealth.

NCQA is proposing a Telehealth Distinction as an addition to PCMH/PCSP Recognition programs to help practices and clinicians show that they have successfully integrated telehealth that is patient-centered and focused on quality. Adding telehealth would also help to enhance the value of NCQA Recognition by:

  • Establishing an industry standard.
  • Focusing on requirements with the greatest impact on desired outcomes.
  • Ensuring clinical delivery and patient access of high-quality, safe and appropriate telehealth services.
  • Assessing clinical data and processes to support quality improvement and accountability.
  • Responding to payer, employer, federal, state and regional needs and priorities to differentiate practices and to effectively influence value-based contracting and payment.

Telehealth has the potential to enhance provider-patient relationships, improve outcomes and expand access to care for 60 million individuals who live in counties with low physical access to care. NCQA believes that to give payers, purchasers and consumers greater confidence in telehealth services, it is important to standardize expectations around patient safety, access and the delivery of high-quality services.

So, as we prepare for this Distinction, we want to hear from you. Click here to give us your honest feedback for this newly proposed Telehealth Distinction now through December 18, 2020. We want this Distinction to make a difference in ensuring quality telehealth for all Americans.

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